Friday, March 11, 2011

Wisconsin 14 planning "homecoming" march on capitol tomorrow

By Greg Sargent

The fourteen Wisconsin Democrats who have been on the lam for weeks are all returning to the state tonight -- and will celebrate their return with a march together on the capitol tomorrow meant to signal that they fully intend to fight on, a state senator confirms to me.

The 14 Dems will join together and walk to the capitol Saturday in what amounts to a celebration of their "homecoming," senator Chris Larson said in an interview a few moments ago.

The move is meant to signal that even if Governor Scott Walker was able to push through his proposal rolling back bargaining rights, the Democrats' decision to return does not represent an acknowledgement of defeat. Instead, they're returning home to join the battle to recall the Republicans who supported Walker.

"Tomorrow all 14 of us will head to the capitol, where we're going to thank the people of Wisconsin for stepping up," Larson told me. "We'll be marching to the capitol -- it is a homecoming." Once at the capitol, the Dems will join a rally that's already been scheduled.

In another sign that national liberal groups are priming for a long recall fight, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee will announce today that they are opening an official recall campaign committee in the state.

"Recalls of the Republicans are kicking into high gear as clipboards begin to replace protest signs in neighborhoods across the state," Larson said in an email to PCCC supporters. "Governor Walker and Republican senators refused to listen to the public -- but now the people will be heard all across the state at the ballot box."

The question now remains whether labor, liberal groups and Wisconsin Dems can sustain momentum for the recall drives, now that the national media is largely treating the Wisconsin standoff as a dead issue. Nearly $2 million has poured in thus far from Dems around the country to support the recall drives, suggesting the Democratic base, at least, will remain intensely invested in the next chapter of this fight for some time to come.

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