Recently elected as Attorney General, Democrat Josh Kaul indicated recently that he anticipates defending Act 10 in court, should a challenge emerge. Madison Area Democratic Socialists of America condemns this statement and any others that signal working people of Wisconsin to lower their expectations after electing supposedly friendly representatives.
Scott Walker’s signing of Act 10 in 2011 ushered in a devastating new era in the war against working people in Wisconsin. It crippled the ability of public sector unions to collectively bargain, and together with the signing of “right to work” legislation, it has resulted in the loss of 139,000 union workers, dropping union membership from 14.2% pre-2011 to 8.1% today. The effect has been lower wages, more expensive health insurance, worse working conditions and a shortage of teachers in Wisconsin.
Kaul’s open willingness to defend Act 10 isn’t just a disappointment, it’s a betrayal of the citizens who voted him in. He was swept into office on a wave of revulsion over Walker’s administration and a demand for a better deal for the people of Wisconsin. Kaul’s election was a political decision by the people, and for him to feign neutrality now that he is in office is a gross misrepresentation of the desire of the base that supported him and a willful abdication of the inherently political nature of his office. Regular Wisconsinites should not continue to suffer the indignity and immiseration of Walker’s policies, especially when a new Attorney General has the power to decide a different course of action.
Madison Area DSA calls on Attorney General Kaul to stand with the people against Act 10, to retract his statement and pledge not to defend Act 10 or any other anti-worker law. We also call on the people to stand in continued, active solidarity with each other. It’s more obvious than ever that we can’t depend on any elected official to deliver for us the fair and just world we so desperately need. We have to build that world for ourselves. That means doing more than just voting; it means getting organized. In the workplace, in the apartment buildings, on the streets. Go to madison.dsausa.org/join/ to get involved.