Capital & Main’s Latest News Section.
Here’s a headline you won’t see, but should: “Scott Walker Spent 88 percent of the Money to Get 53 Percent of the Vote.”
Political pundits will spend the next few days and weeks analyzing the Wisconsin recall election, examining exit polls, spilling lots of ink over how different demographic groups — income, race, religious, union membership, gender, party affiliation, independents, liberals/conservatives/moderates, etc — voted on Tuesday.
But the real winner in Wisconsin on Tuesday was not Gov. Scott Walker, but Big Money. And the real loser was not Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, but democracy.
Walker’s Republican campaign outspent Barrett’s Democratic campaign by $30.5 million to $4 million — that’s a 7.5 to 1 advantage. Another way of saying this is that of the $34.5 million spent on their campaigns, Walker spend 88 percent of the money.
Walker beat Barrett by 1,316,989 votes to 1,145,190 votes — 53 percent to 46 percent (with 1 percent going to an independent candidate).
Last week, more than 30 citations were issued by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) to a waste recycling company called American Reclamation, Inc., its subsidiaries and a temporary employment agency. The citations dealt with serious violations at a material recovery facility in Los Angeles, which is where trash is sorted by hand to remove recyclables from other waste.
Cal/OSHA cited the company for violations of health and safety standards,
failure to train workers properly and a host of other unlawful practices. I’m happy that our state health and safety enforcers caught these violations, but I fear that the lack of enforcement resources in California means many other violations at other facilities are slipping through the cracks.
Coming off a thrilling victory on banning plastic bags, the City of L.A.’s next waste discussion centers on taming the currently out-of-control open permit system that governs how waste is collected for business and large apartment buildings.
Since his sudden death in April, I’ve been trying to imagine the health care movement without Rick Brown’s wise counsel, coherent advocacy, and perfect research. E. Richard Brown was a professor of Public Health at UCLA whose research and advocacy touched millions of lives. As a health activist and advocate, I worked with Rick to save California’s county hospitals and health centers, and I use his research, especially the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) to illustrate the health care needs of various populations in California when I write grant proposals for nonprofit organizations. He was always happy to give me advice about how to frame an argument, and he was always willing to meet with policy makers when activists needed an authority to support them.
The memorial service held on May 29 filled UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall. The crowd included the health activists, labor leaders, UCLA faculty colleagues, and politicians who worked with Rick to gain recognition of health care as a basic human right,
The 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots has triggered a number of fascinating reports examining the underlying causes of the unrest and the changes (in attitudes and actions) that have taken place in the past two decades.
Scholars at the University of Southern California produced a report called L.A. Rising: The 1992 Civil Unrest, the Arc of Social Justice Organizing, and the Lessons for Today’s Movement Building. Their counterparts at L.A.’s Loyola Marymount University, published 20th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Riots Survey. And my colleagues at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (on whose board I proudly serve) published a series of reflections by L.A. activists called Rage and Reflection: Meditations on LA’s 1992 Civil Unrest and the Ongoing Transformation of a City.
“More deeply still, nonviolence is a spiritual challenge of epic proportions. It calls upon the soul’s authentic longing for heroism, for risking one’s life for an infinite stake, for self-transcendence in giving oneself to another.” – Walter Wink
After Reinhold Niebuhr succumbed to Cold War fever, there was no longer a major voice in Christian ethics among Protestants. In seminary, I myself had to read Paul Ramsey, who couldn’t get any closer to examining the ethics of war than resuscitating Just War Theory from the late days of the Roman Empire. Most of us who opposed the Vietnam War were stuck with a rationale that this-war-in-particular was unjust and therefore should be stopped. Since no one could articulate a thorough critique from a non-violent perspective, we were flying by the seats of our intellectual pants.
Little did I know that alongside mainstream Christian ethics, hidden somewhere in the obscure hallways of academia,