By the Numbers: Why We Lost

Craig Gilbert at the Journal Sentinel believes that Burke lost because white, rural men voted overwhelmingly for Walker. "Walker won men by his largest margin ever (21 points). He also lost women by his largest margin ever (9 points)" [].

Higher turnout in Milwaukee would have helped some but wasn't a decisive factor. We lost so-called independents and the drop-off of younger voters did hurt. 

We don't yet know a lot about how the work undertaken by North Shore for Mary Burke fared in our North Shore communities but I hope we'll have a chance to look at our numbers in some detail in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, what's your take on the way the electorate played out in this last election? The comment area is open below. Have at it.

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They Are Counting on Us to Lose

WISVOTER06G2.jpgSometimes the polling headlines are discouraging when the poll's results really should be good news. If the latest Marquette poll leads you to believe that Burke is losing, you're mistaken. Walker and his cronies are counting on us making that mistake. They are counting on us to lose this election.

You can read all about it in the JSOnline for Monday, October 6. And you can do something about it by getting involved. All we need to do is increase our turnout rates in midterm elections, and we'll win. 

So which side are you on, folks, which side are you on?

Here are some places to visit to make a difference and win this election:


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GRNS Endorses David Bowen

BOWEN.PNGBased on a poll of its membership, Grassroots North Shore endorses David Bowen in the Democratic primary for Wisconsin’s 10th Assembly District. This is one of the rare times the organization has endorsed a candidate in a primary.

According to Keith Schmitz, Steering Committee Member for Grassroots North Shore, “We feel David is the true progressive in this race and has proven himself to be an effective fighter for our values.”

“We have been well represented by Sandy Pasch and David will continue to provide leadership and service to the district.”

Bowen led and won the fight to bring the living wage to Milwaukee County government and successfully helped defeat an effort by the Wisconsin State Legislature to revoke home rule on the issue. He fully supports Wisconsin’s public schools.

Grassroots North Shore is proud to join State Rep. Sandy Pasch and US Representative Gwen Moore in endorsing David Bowen.

Grassroots North Shore will be urging its members to support Bowen's campaign.

Grassroots North Shore is one of the largest all volunteer progressive groups in the state and it exists to educate, advocate and inform for progressive change and solutions. Please visit:


Keith Schmitz / 414-963-0847 / [email protected]



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Endorsement Poll for 10th Assembly District

Primary elections are often low-key affairs but our choices in primaries can make a huge difference to the direction our governments take in the next several years. You have a chance to vote for a Democratic candidate for the 10th Assembly District on election day, August 12, and you can vote early in person at your municipal office between now and 5pm on Friday, August 8 (no evening or weekend early voting hours, alas). 

In addition to urging you to vote, and vote early if possible, Grassroots North Shore would like your views on endorsing a candidate in this race.  Please consider the 4 candidates facing off in the primary. Let us know -- by midnight on July 31 -- which candidate, if any, you think we should endorse. Simply reply to this email with your preferred candidate's name.

Who is running:

All four candidates were asked to complete an issues questionnaire. Bowen, Grant and Torhorst did so. Here are the questions and their responses.

Bowen's questionnaire and responses (pdf)

Grant's questionnaire and responses (pdf)

Torhorst's questionnaire and responses (pdf)

If you live in the 10th Assembly District, you can register your choice by emailing Keith Schmitz  <[email protected]Please respond by midnight, Thursday, July 31.

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Mary Poppins, Populist

Everyone needs watch this side-splitting Kristen Bell parody of Mary Poppins quitting her job and explaining that she can't live on the minimum wage. "Just a $3 dollar raise...."

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More Bad News on Wisconsin Jobs

Current Population Survey Employment Change for Wisconsin, Bureau of Labor Statistics
1 Month, Rolling 3 Month


There are two major surveys that yield a picture of employment, the Current Employment Survey (CES) and the Current Population Survey (CPS). CES surveys employers while CPS surveys households. They count jobs in slightly different ways, but both measures show how poorly Wisconsin is faring after the recession. Yes, the headline number -- average unemployment rate for the state -- stands at 5.7%, which is below the national average. But the number of jobs in Wisconsin and the number of people employed in Wisconsin still have not recovered from the Great Recession. 

Using the CES measure, employment peaked in June 2007, with 2,889,300 jobs. As of June 2014, Wisconsin is down 29,700 jobs compared to that peak. 

Under the CPS measure that calculates how many people are employed at any given time, the number of people employed in Wisconsin reached its peak in February 2008 at 2,959,841. As of June 2014, Wisconsin has 59,690 fewer people employed in the state.

There are a legion of ways to measure the performance of a local economy. But no measure will show success if people are not working because they can't find jobs!

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Jobs Decline Again in June


*Other Midwest states include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio.

SOURCES: Bureau of Labor Statistics: December 2010 through December 2013 data from Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages, change since December 2013 through 2014 data is calculated from Current Employment Statistics and is seasonally adjusted.

UPDATED JULY 18, 1:45PM: The Wisconsin State Journal has published a new, interactive graphic demonstrating the failure of Wisconsin to keep pace with the nation or with its neighboring states in private-sector job creation.

Different accounts use different data sources, so it is sometimes difficult to gauge exactly where the jobs numbers stand. But at least according to Politifact, Wisconsin has lost jobs in January, February, and now May.

The preliminary jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly Census of Employment and Wages just came out. And how did Wisconsin do? Not well. Roughly 1200 private-sector jobs disappeared in June 2014. Meanwhile, here's the scorecard for some of our neighboring states:

  • Indiana added 10,000 private sector jobs in June
  • Michigan added 19,800 private sector jobs in June
  • Minnesota added 4,600 private sector jobs in June
  • Ohio added 15,700 private-sector jobs in June

Even more discouraging, manufacturing jobs declined by 1,400 in June after dropping by 2,100 in May 2014. The primary sector adding jobs is "Leisure and Hospitality," that is, mostly low wage jobs.

To be sure, the data are volatile and will be revised and refined over time. The more reliable Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages for May 2014, however, won't be released until well after the election in November. So this is the best information we are going to have about the jobs performance in Wisconsin as we head into the election. 

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