I know its title, "Americans For Prosperity involvement in local races isn’t bad" sure sounds like an approval for Koch's political army to inject itself into local elections, but after reading it twice I'm convinced its author was looking for whatever paddle or fuel they could find that can spark greater voter interest in their community.
The editorial starts out with a genuine complaint about low voter turn-out in Racine County in Tuesday’s election. Only 13,193 people bothered to cast a ballot out of 111,593 registered voters and that at just under 12 percent they write, is pretty pathetic.
Yes, that is pathetic.
But the last paragraph was the most telling ...
Journal Times Excerpt:
But the bottom line is, residents who make it to the polls and vote are ultimately the ones who determine how our government is run. If groups like Americans for Prosperity can help create more awareness for the issues and turn out more voters, then more power to them or any other group trying, as long as they are willing to disclose who they are.
Again, that does sound like a concession to the Koch Brothers. But in truth, any group can come into any community and operate a get-out-the-vote program. Of course that's not only what Americans For Prosperity does. But at least according to my last recollection, we're still a free country to do so.
My concern here would be how the Racine Journal Times has handled any initiatives, political or other, orchestrated by locals in their part of Wisconsin in the past. Have they promoted those just the same?
In Janesville for instance, if a small band of local residents or the local labor or teachers union would get involved in elections or in the issues, the Janesville Gazette and their army of anonymous trolls would make every effort to smash mouth and squash them in the newspaper as partisans, union thugs or worse. The Gazette was and still is in full control of the narrative.
But see, here's the problem. Those people the Gazette attacked were local residents, local taxpayers with homes or renters raising families donating to local causes and supporting local businesses. They were not outsiders. But that never mattered to the hardcore partisans running the Gazette printing presses. Any local movement to organize or express a "different" opinion from the establishment was and is demonized as negative, power-grabbing or political.
Now, I realize Janesville isn't Racine and Racine isn't Janesville, but people will be people and I'm sure the same political dynamics are at play in both communities. Despite all the hay we make over money in politics and how it distorts views and outcomes, it still comes down to the voter.
With that, in my view the Journal Times editorial is screaming, "PEOPLE, IF WE DON'T ORGANIZE AND COME TO THE DEFENSE OF OUR OWN COMMUNITIES, SCHOOLS, FAMILIES, JOBS, WAGES, PENSIONS AND PROPERTY - THE KOCH BROTHERS WILL TAKE IT ALL!! AND IF THEY DO, THEY WILL HAVE EARNED IT. DON'T BLAME ANYONE ELSE. DON'T WAIT FOR ANOTHER OUTSIDE GROUP TO DEFEND US OR DO OUR BIDDING - THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
So if the Journal Times editorial on American For Prosperity wasn't meant to be an alarm, it sure sounded like one to me.
If you liked that one, you might like to read this:
RNR - While You Were Away