First Lady Michelle Obama ventured to Milwaukee to speak to grassroots supporters. Outlining what’s at stake during this election, Mrs. Obama encouraged rally attendees to help organize voters between now and November and asked every supporter to help grow Obama for America’s national grassroots network. Attendees left the rally, held at Bradley Tech High School, inspired. (Photo by Yvonne Kemp)
Recently 3,000 people went to see First Lady Michelle Obama speak at Bradley Tech High School. Do you think President Barack Obama will win the 2012 Presidential Election? Why or why not?
Question and photos by Yvonne Kemp
James Lindsay: “I believe Barack Obama will be re-elected because most people understand that the economy is in its current state due to the last administration and that it will take at least two terms for it to be corrected.
Markel Johnson: “He will be elected because a lot of people who say they oppose him publicly will support him at the ballot box because he is looking out for their best interest.”
Laviena Davis: “The Lord had his hand on President Obama. My senior companions and I are praying that God will do a miracle.”
Beverly Brown: “I think he will be elected. People have to realize that he had a lot of housekeeping to do when he was elected and he (has done) a lot for the people (considering) the mess everything was in when he took office.”
By Associated Press
WASHINGTON — As college students return to campus, President Barack Obama’s campaign will be there waiting for them.
Obama aides sees college campuses as fertile ground for registering and recruiting some of the more than 15 million young people who have become eligible to vote since the 2008 election. As Republicans hold their party convention in Florida this week, the president will make a personal appeal to college voters in three university towns: Ames, Iowa; Fort Collins, Colo.; and Charlottesville, Va.
Obama’s victory four years ago was propelled in part by his overwhelming support among college-aged voters, and polls show him leading Republican rival Mitt Romney with that group in this year’s race.
But the president faces an undeniable challenge as he seeks to convince young people that he is the right steward for the economy as they eye a shaky post-graduation job market.
Seeking to overcome that economic uncertainty, Obama’s campus staffers and volunteers are touting the president’s positions on social issues, like gay rights, that garner significant support among young people. Obama has stressed his effort to freeze the interest rates on new federal student loans, a pitch he personalizes by reminding voters that he and the first lady were once buried under a “mountain” of student loan debt after law school.
They also see a fresh opportunity to court students – and their parents – following Romney’s pick ofPaul Ryan as his running mate. Democrats say Ryan’s budget would cut funding for Pell Grants, the federal need-based program for students, and Obama’s campaign is running television advertisements in battleground states trying to link Romney to that plan.
Campaigning last week at Capital University in Ohio, Obama told students that Romney’s economic plan “makes one thing clear: He does not think investing in your future is worth it. He doesn’t think that’s a good investment. I do.”
Before departing on his two-day trip, Obama was to deliver a statement on Tropical Storm Isaac from the White House. Administration and campaign officials were monitoring the storm as it barreled toward the Gulf Coast, but as of Tuesday morning, the president still planned to proceed with his travels.
Obama was scheduled to speak Tuesday at Iowa State University and Colorado State University. The University of Virginia rejected his campaign’s request to hold an event on campus Wednesday, saying it would cause the cancellation or disruption of classes on the second day of the semester. The event was instead being held at an off-campus pavilion in Charlottesville.
Romney’s campaign sees an opportunity to cut into the president’s support among young people by pushing a three-pronged economic argument focusing on the nation’s high unemployment rate, the soaring cost of college and the national debt.
“These kids haven’t even entered the workforce and they already owe the government a bill for the debt Obama has rung up,” said Joshua Baca, the Romney campaign’s national coalitions director.
Obama campaign officials say the start of the new school year is a particularly crucial time to ramp up college registration and make sure those new voters get to the polls. In many of the battleground states, about 50 percent of the college students register to vote on campus after Labor Day, according to the campaign. And even those who are already registered may need to change their address or other personal details after moving to new dorms.
At the University of Dayton, Daniel Rajaiah encourages his fellow Democrats to carry voter registration forms to class, to parties and around campus in case they find someone who hasn’t yet registered. Members of the College Democrats set up tables in the middle of campus a few days a week to catch students walking to class or to the cafeteria.
“Our game plan this fall is to hit voter registration very hard,” said Rajaiah, who is president of the College Democrats of Ohio.
Obama’s campaign said it registered 10,000 voters on college campuses in Ohio last week and signed up 300 new volunteers at colleges in Iowa.
Four years ago, Obama won two-thirds of the vote among 18- to 29-year-olds, compared with just 32 percent for his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, according to exit polls.
An Associated Press-GfK poll released last week showed Obama again holding a broad advantage among younger voters, with 54 percent of registered voters under 35 saying they would vote for Obama and 38 percent backing Romney.
The City of Milwaukee Election Commission would like to remind voters that the Tuesday, August 14 election is Wisconsin’s Partisan Primary. This election is scheduled to allow voters to select the candidates from their preferred political party for placement on the November General Election ballot.
The Partisan Primary ballot is divided into four sections or “party ballots:” Republican, Democratic, Constitution and Americans Elect. Each party section includes the same races for voting.
In a Partisan Primary, voters may only vote for candidates from one political party. If a voter selects candidates from more than one political party, only their votes for candidates from their
“The best approach to voting on Tuesday is to make sure you understand the purpose of a Partisan Primary before voting and inserting your ballot into the voting machine,” said Neil Albrecht, Executive Director of the City of Milwaukee Election Commission. “Voters are encouraged to thoroughly read the ballot instructions.”
By carefully considering and following instructions, a voter can avoid a rejected ballot and being delayed at their voting site. Instructions on the ballot identify that:
You may only vote for candidates from ONE political party. You may not cross-party vote.
Although not required, if you select a Party Preference, you still need to vote for the individual candidates of your choice from that party.
If you select a Party Preference, and you vote for candidates from more than ONE party, your ballot may be accepted, but only your votes for candidates from your selected party will be counted.
If you do NOT select Party Preference, and vote for or write in candidates from more than ONE party, your ballot will be rejected, no votes will be counted, and you will need to vote a new ballot.
Partisan Primaries are not new and have been in effect in Wisconsin since the early 1900s. Election Inspectors, including bilingual staff, are trained and available to provide assistance to any voter with questions on the ballot. In addition, sample ballots are available and posted on the bulletin boards, and detailed instructions are posted in the voting booths. Voters should keep in mind that they receive three attempts to complete a ballot that is accepted by the voting machine.
Voting sites will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.
ELECTION WATCH 2012
Next week’s primary elections may be the most important in recent years.
In addition to the U.S. senatorial race, the elections will change the face of the state legislature, including, if predictions are correct, a 50% reduction in the number of Black state lawmakers
The elections will be the first since federally mandated reapportionment. Population shifts and partisan priorities weighed heavily in the redistricting process, creating several new legislative districts, and the merging of several others. As a result, the concept of ‘community of interest’ will be tested, as will the question of whether Black representation is still a priority of among central city voters.
That latter concern has played out in recent weeks as several past and incumbent Black representatives have encouraged Black voters to ‘vote for individuals’ who look like us. Others have challenged that philosophy, stating that voters should vote for whomever best represents our interests. Without getting caught up in that controversy, our endorsements reflect our steadfast decision to support candidates who prioritize the needs of the community above those of special interests, political party or campaign funding. We also base our endorsements on responses to questionnaires we provided to each candidate (published two weeks ago) and their community endeavors.
The Community Journal endorses…
Millie Coby–Candidate for Assembly Dist. 10 Seat
This has been the most watched race in this election, pitting three black candidates against a respected White lawmaker who is seeking to represent a predominantly Black district. Sandy Pasch is highly qualified, but we lean toward the candidate who has received the endorsement of some of Milwaukee’s most esteemed and respected Black leaders including former Mayor Marvin Pratt, political pioneer Vel Phillips and former State Rep. Polly Williams. Coby has an impressive record of community involvement, understands the issues and has shown a willingness to be open to new approaches to those issues besetting our community.
Jason Fields–Incumbent for Assembly Dist. 11 Seat
Fields epitomizes a steadfast pragmatic politician. He has been one of the most effective legislators during his tenure, as exhibited by the fact that he was the only lawmaker to shepherd three bills through during the last session, even while facing sometimes hostile Republican opposition. Fields has been attacked of late by a segment of the Democratic Party establishment for his independence and his penchant to put his ‘people before his party.’ We however, applaud him and strongly endorsement his reelection.
Tracey Dent–Candidate for Assembly Dist. 17 Seat
There’s an interesting field of candidates running in this open seat, most of whom would make excellent representatives. After careful analysis, however, we lean toward Tracey Dent, whose record of community service is unequaled. As late as Tuesday, Dent was orchestrating a prayer vigil for the victims of the racist attack at the Sikh temple. That was only the latest in a long line of similar efforts he’s put together to combat crime, press for educational accountability and employment opportunities for Black Milwaukee men, who lead the nation in joblessness. Dent is a proven community activist who will take his fight to Madison.
Jaret Fields–Candidate for Assembly Dist. 18 Seat
A fresh voice from a distinguished family whose life has centered on community servitude. We have decried nepotism in the past, but in this case, Fields’ credentials are unmatched as is his desire to bring fresh ideals and challenge the status quo.
Beth Coggs–Candidate for Senate Dist. Six Seat
Like Fields, Coggs is unafraid to question establishment politics and willing to put here neck on the chopping block to advance an agenda of benefit to our community. The field in this race is impressive, including Nikiya Harris, who shows great promise. But Coggs’ experience and political savvy—as county supervisor and state representative—would serve us well as the new state senator. No one can match her experience, and few come close to her unwavering commitment to remedy the myriad of problems that confront our community.
U.S Senate–There is no Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Herb Kohl. That means Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin is guaranteed a place on the November ballot. Baldwin is an excellent choice for the Democratic nomination and her record as a strong supporter of President Obama and programs that positively impact our community is noteworthy.
With the absence of a Democratic presence on the ballot, many of our readers will cross over to vote on the Republican side, selecting a candidate from four Republicans, two of whom have sought statewide office in the past. One candidate sticks out, however, not only because he served as governor of our state for over a decade, but also because he is the only moderate in the group.
It’s interesting that conservative Republicans have targeted Tommy Thompson since he announced his candidacy. Is it because he supported institutions like OIC and the Private Industry Concil while governor?
Is it because he was the catalyst behind legislation that made the state responsible for paying two thirds of the cost of public education, a commitment that has been reneged upon by former Governor Jim Doyle and now Scott Walker?
Or is it because Thompson, as a Republican signed legislation for the strongest minority business participation program in state history?
That conservatives are attacking Thompson gives us reason for pause. Obviously, he’s the best of the lot.
by MCJ Staff
“I’m running to not only win the election, but to win the community,” Allyn Monroe Swan adamantly declared. “I’m in it for the people, not even for a job.”
Swan is one of five candidates vying for the 6th Senate District post, left vacant when longtime senator Spencer Coggs was elected city treasurer.
A spiritual care coordinator at Heartland Hospice who has served in various capacities as a counselor, pastor and community volunteer, Swan believes he has the best resume of anyone running for state senate. He says he is “what people need and not just political rigmarole.”
The Milwaukee native has spent 30 years as a public servant throughout the state and country. While his resume boasts experiences in several human service fields, the constant theme is caring for others.
He has taught at an alternative school for teen offenders in Texas; counseled severely emotionally disturbed children who have been sexualized, abandoned and abused in Los Angeles; and pastored a mission church, where his congregation cared for and provided food and services for people in need.
For the last 17 years, he has worked in healthcare in crisis care, curative care, long term care, palliative care and hospice care as a Spiritual Care Coordinator/Chaplain.
Swan says each of his experiences have forced him to ‘work on the frontline everyday.’
“All of my experiences have put me in touch with real people and real concerns,” he added. “I have learned that the issues so many people face, like healthcare in particular, are not linear issues.”
If elected, Swan plans to take his 30 years of service to Madison to continue serving on the frontline for the constituents of the 6th Senate District.
“I’m looking forward to actually being a foot solider for people,” he said.
In fact, he says he looks forward to “having an ear toward the ground and being available to serve community at every level.”
Rather than hoping to pass his first piece of legislation, Swan hopes to enforce current laws that are not properly enforced, such as black contractors not receiving contracting jobs in the city.
Swan says he supports same pay for equal work between men and women; collective bargaining; quality healthcare with fair pay for teachers; and job development. He also wants to buffer BadgarCare and champion Black business development.
No stranger to the political arena, Swan is the son of the legendary Monroe Swan, Wisconsin’s first African American State Senator. Elected in 1972, the senior Swan brought pride to the constituents of the 6th Senate district via hard work diligence and respect for the people he served.
As a younger child, Swan remembers accompanying his father to many senate sessions, where he witnessed his diligence and perseverance.
If elected, he hopes to take many of the lessons learned handed down from his father and even plans to utilize some of the same ingenious tactics and methods that his father employed to better the community.
Swan said he would, like his father did in the ‘70s, open a district office to serve as a triage for services. Similar to his father’s community outreach facilitation, constituents would receive assistance in securing help for their needs.
He would like to have quarterly meetings with representatives and officials from all levels government to discuss and resolve issues facing the community. The forum would serve not as a bully pulpit, he said, but as a means of holding elected officials accountable.
“As an elected official you not only have a vote, but a voice and a choice,” Swan said. “Too often we play politics, which will leave us as a destitute area with no one there.”
In debates, open forums and on his website, he continually reiterates that his ‘running to win the community.’ If he wins the election, he says he will not stop campaigning after August 14. Said Swan: “That’s when the real work starts when I will need to hit the streets and go door-to-door more the ever to let the community know that there is a state senator who’s there for them and they can voice their concerns.”
There are a number of important races coming in three weeks that will impact our community economically, healthcare-wise, educationally and politically, especially as it relates to the November presidential election.
This election will test the newly redrawn state Senate and Assembly districts, which includes several predominately Black districts in which White candidates are vying for those seats.
The White candidates have sparked a heated debate in our community as to whether or not a non-Black candidate can win in a district that is still predominately Black; if Black voters should vote for someone based on color or credentials and ability; as well as if a White candidate can relate to and advocate on the behalf of Black constituents their issues in the legislative chambers of the state capitol.
Just as we did several months ago during the mayoral and city and county elections, your Community Journal has again reached out to candidates for this election to share with you–our readers–in their own words who they are, why they are running for state Sentate and Assembly, and what two issues they will tackle if elected that will help improve conditions in our community.
Fifteen candidates (incumbents and challengers) responded to our request. Their answers and brief bios begin at right. We hope this special Election Watch focus will help you decide who will best represent you in Madison.
Question of the Week: “Do you know on August 14 there is a primary election? Do you think there has been enough publicity about this election?”
Photos and questions by Yvonne Kemp
ALRuth Williams: “No. There is not enough publicity. We’re not sure who’s really running in this primary.”
Pedro Langdon: “Definitely not! I don’t know who the candidates are and what position they are running for.”
Deborah Scaggs: “No. They are too busy focusing on Scott Walker. What he did and didn’t do and what he is going to do. The other focus is on our next presidential election.”
Roger Norton: “No. I don’t think there has been enough publicity on this August 14 election. Due to the fact that it is more centered on the debate for September.”
Barrett and Mitchell the obvious choices for governor and lieutenant governor; vote for change June 5
It should come as no suprise to anyone who we are endorsing in the gubernatorial recall election to be held June 5.
The obvious choice to us and for the community is Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
Barrett is the state’s best hope in overturning the draconian policies of incumbent Scott Walker, whose agenda has wrecked havoc on public workers and their rights, the poor, families, the elderly, children, women, minorities and individuals with health challenges.
If you agree the course of our state must be redirected to benefit its citizens and you are eligible to vote and are not “on paper,” then it is your duty and responsibility as a Wisconsinite to go to the polls on June 5 and vote! We urge you to take others who are eligible with you to the polls so they can vote. Take the time to educate them on what is at stake. Let them know that we…the people…hold the power to correct the course our state is headed in. Wisconsin is the “tip of the spear” in a politically ideological and cultural war nationally between those with power and money who are without a moral compass, and the middle class–the keepers of the “American Dream”–whose existence gives hope and aspiration to the poor. This election has implecations that will echo all the way to the November presidential election. If Walker wins, it will be a signal to the corporate oligarchy that money rules; the rights, liberties and freedoms of the people don’t matter any more!
Sounds drastic doesn’t it?
But that is exactly our fear if you and those you know who are able to don’t vote on June 5.
And since you’ll be striking a blow for the people, we also urge you to vote for Mahlon Mitchell to be the next lieutenant governor, replacing incumbent Rebecca Kleefisch.
If (and when) Mitchell is elected, he will be the first African American Lt. Governor in Wisconsin history. Given his work as president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, we feel Mitchell (no relation to the editor of this newspaper by-the-way) will bring the accumen and compassion to the position.
Though a firefighter outstate, judging from the front page photo of him and community residents, Mitchell has quickly earned the trust and respect–and hopefully votes–of the city’s Black community, a constituency that will play a pivotal role in this election.
This quick connection with the community, his knowledge of the issues–especially from a labor standpoint–make Mitchell a worthy partner to Barrett if (and when) they are elected to the state’s top position.
On June 5 we can make the “if” a done deal if we come out enmasse to vote. As we noted, our community is key to a win next week. Don’t stand on the side lines! YOU can be the change we need! Vote! Take back your state by making Tom Barrett and Mahlon Mitchell governor and lieutenant governor respectively June 5.