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Educator’s victory restores balance of power in Wisconsin state Senate

Corporate cash drowns voices of Wisconsin working families

WASHINGTON - June 06, 2012 -

Statement from NEA President Dennis Van Roekel regarding the recall election of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker:

“Unfortunately, the biggest winner in tonight’s recall election was the corporate cash that funded the campaign of Governor Scott Walker. These millionaire donors, empowered by the Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United, have made a mockery of democracy and nearly drowned out the voices of working families in Wisconsin. The good news is that the barrage of out-of-state corporate money did not keep voters from restoring the balance of power in the state Senate.”

“The election of John Lehman, a former high school history and economics teacher and a retired National Education Association and Wisconsin Education Association Council member, to the 21st Senate District will restore the balance of power in Madison. The defeat of one of Scott Walker’s allies will put a much needed check on Walker’s attacks on middle class families and help turn the page on one of the most divisive periods in Wisconsin political history. The newly-elected senator has pledged to work to heal the political wounds of their state and bring workers, families and communities back together again for the good of the state.”

Educators played a key role in this tremendous effort to fight back for working families, coming together with citizens and organizations from across the state to form We are Wisconsin, a citizen-driven, community-based grassroots effort aimed at retaking their state and recalling Scott Walker. As of election eve, We Are Wisconsin knocked on 1.4 million doors and made 1.5 million phone calls. The group consisted of 50,000 volunteers. Many of the volunteers of We are Wisconsin are members of the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), NEA’s state affiliate. With the recall behind, the cutting-edge, grassroots field operation will shift gears and focus on the 2012 presidential election.

“Tonight’s outcome takes nothing away from the unprecedented and Herculean effort sparked by tens of thousands of teachers, bus drivers, firefighters, snow plow drivers and other Badger State working families. We are grateful for your dedication and commitment to what is just and right. You sparked a movement that captivated the nation’s attention for 26 days in January 2011. You slept on the floor of the capitol, and walked the snowy streets of Madison. You spoke up against Walker’s attack on workers’ rights and unprecedented education budget cuts. You stood up for kids, for workers and for justice and no matter the outcome, showed that NEA members will never stop advocating for our students and our communities. And for that we are grateful.”

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez  (202) 822-7823,