• WisPolitics


Saturday, June 04, 2011

 11:19 AM 

Schakowsky: Wisconsin Dems started prairie fire in the heartland

U.S. Rep Jan Schakowsky called Wisconsin “ground zero for Democrats” and thanked Wisconsin Dems for “changing the narrative” for Democrats.

“We are finally playing offense,” Schakowsky said.

Schakowsky, who represents the 9th CD Illinois, which includes the north side of Chicago and the northern suburbs, called the 14 Dem senators who fled to her state to delay action on Walker’s budget repair bill hero’s.

“What you did is start a prairie fire in the heartland that is spreading across this country,” Schakowsky said. “The prairie fire can’t be stopped. Of course it can’t, the firefighters are with us.”

Schakowsky said they didn’t wait for polls or permission to take actions, which shifted public opinion in their favor and helped put a human face on public workers.

She highlighted a number of controversial provisions in Ryan’s budget plan, saying it ends Medicare, “putting seniors at the mercy” of private health insurers, cuts grants for college students, and slashes investments in green energy and infrastructure.

“The Ryan budget is a gift that keeps on giving,” Schakowsky said, noting negative response to the plan, which she attributed for increased support for Democrats.

“They’re on record to kill Medicare and we’re going to make them own that vote,” she said of those who voted for the Ryan plan. “They can run but they can’t hide.”

She deplored the concentration of wealth in America, saying the country is “seeing a hallowing out of the middle class,” that she tied to the decline of unions.

She called for support of a bill to increase manufacturing in the U.S. and for a program similar to the WPA to create jobs.

“There are 15-million unemployed Americans who would much rather be paying taxes than collecting unemployment,” she said. “If the private sector can’t or won’t do it, it’s time for the government to step in.”

Schakowsky also highlighted her plan to increase taxes on millionaires and billionaires, saying it is the best way to cut the deficit.

Schakowsky was introduced by U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, whose notes were written on the back of a “Recall Scott Walker” bumper sticker.

Moore said she and Schakowsky are neighbors in the same apartment building.

“We not only share a wall, we share a worldview,” Moore said.

-- By David Wise

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