Bernie Sanders May Have Won Wisconsin, But Wisconsin Lost Itself

Hidden by Sanders' primary victory, two destructive forces are reelected to powerful positions.

Bernie Sanders

Isabella Beaupré

Feature Writer at RYSE
Isabella Beaupré is a Milwaukee-based writer and artist working to organize against oppression and fight for race, gender and class justice.

Self-proclaimed progressives in Wisconsin are standing tall this week, excited and proud about Bernie Sanders’ recent primary victory. The democratic socialist took 48 delegates and 56.6% of the democratic vote; a considerable win over Clinton’s 43.1%. While Wisconsinites basked in the glow of their “revolutionary” vote-casting, the Milwaukee Public School system died. Buried next to it, the rights and safety of the state’s LGBTQ community.

Chris Abele, the detrimental and bigoted County Executive of Milwaukee, has a long history of destroying the public school system through proposed privatization and elite policy. On the ballot running against him, Chris Larson, a democratic candidate advocating restoration of public school funding after Governor Scott Walker’s destructive budget cuts.

In 2013, Larson and several colleagues introduced a package of six jobs bills, which included funding for technical colleges and required state agencies, as well as state and local governments, to buy from Wisconsin businesses. Larson also signed onto a proposed constitutional amendment which would reverse Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, Abele, the son of an extremely wealthy businessmen, began his political career as the founder of medical supply production corporation Boston Scientific and continues to operate under the influence of big-business mentality.

In 2011, he told Politifact Wisconsin that he was “wide open” to privatizing more county services if it saves the state money. Despite running as a democratic candidate, Abele received the endorsement of the notoriously conservative Milwaukee Journal Sentinel during his first campaign for County Executive in 2011. Abele has been advocating for the privatization of Milwaukee Public Schools since his first term, an action that would allow schools to reject potential students based on guidelines of their own creation (this is also known as discrimination). Students with difficulty learning or behaving in a traditional school setting, disabled students, “trouble” students and students of color with distracting home lives will undoubtedly top this list of so-called rejects.

Many already privatized schools across the country use religious values to guide their acceptance standards, something they are allowed to do depending on who is funding them. It is well-known that MPS is severely underfunded, and Abele’s plan to punish them for their government’s unwillingness to support education is clearly absurd, arguably racist and outright elitist. Prepare to welcome the death of public education in Wisconsin’s largest city.


Rebecca Bradley’s reelection to the Wisconsin State Supreme Court was also determined by Tuesday’s voting. Bradley was initially appointed to the Court by hyper-Conservative Governor Walker in 2015. On Tuesday, she ran for a full term and, thanks to the homophobic and archaic voters of the state, won. In 1992, in a column for her university’s newspaper, Bradley wrote of the AIDs epidemic “the homosexuals and drug addicts who essentially kill themselves and others through their behavior deservedly receive none of my sympathy.” She also argued that it would be better to get AIDS than cancer, “because those afflicted with the politically-correct disease will be getting all of the funding.”

Bradley is openly anti-abortion, having once compared the act to a mother “murdering her living newborn child”. Running against this terribly misguided candidate was JoAnne Kloppenburg, a State Appeals judge, former Peace Corps volunteer and developer of WIC’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program. Recently, Kloppenburg attacked Bradley’s student writings, stating: “There is no statute of limitations on hate. Rebecca Bradley’s comments are as abhorrent and disturbing today as they were in 1992.” Rebecca Bradley is a sorry excuse for an unbiased Court judge as she has made her dramatic opinions on several controversial issues very clear. Hence, the destruction of LGBTQ rights and safety in Wisconsin.  

Bernie Sanders vocalized his support for both Larson and Kloppenburg during a recent visit to the state, something his revolutionary supporters seemed not to hear over the deafening cries of their own progressiveness.

Wisconsinites, here is a clear message: Do your research!

It may be cool to support Bernie, but it’s cooler to maintain the sanctity of public education, provide safe options for abortion and support the ever-developing and necessary LGBTQ community. The majority of self-proclaimed progressive voters have obviously not extended their political-ness beyond the place of social acceptance, and this is disappointing and unnerving.

Wisconsin citizens must now prepare for many years of the destructive breakdown of their state, something even a Bernie Sanders presidency will be unable to save them from after Tuesday’s disastrous elections.            




Header image via Huffington Post                     

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