By Rebecca Kemble on April 10, 2012

The state senator filed for her run in the Democratic primary saying, “The people of Wisconsin are tired of money in politics and being told who to vote for.”

Today is the deadline for candidates challenging Scott Walker for governor in the historic recall election to turn in their nomination papers to the Government Accountability Board. Potential candidates had ten days to gather at least 2,000 signatures. State Senator Kathleen Vinehout delivered more than 3,300 signatures on over 400 petitions after a brief press conference under the windows of Scott Walker’s office this morning.

A small group of enthusiastic campaign volunteers accompanied Vinehout on her march from the Capitol to the GAB two blocks away. When they reached the GAB office Vinehout presented the box of petitions saying, “These are the hopes and dreams of the people of Wisconsin for a fresh start in Wisconsin government and politics.”

A small group of enthusiastic campaign volunteers accompanied Vinehout on her march from the Capitol to the GAB two blocks away.
A small group of enthusiastic campaign volunteers accompanied Vinehout on her march from the Capitol to the GAB two blocks away.

Run on a shoestring budget and fueled by the high energy of a network of more than 250 volunteers in thirty-nine counties throughout the state, the Vinehout campaign is slowly making inroads into the consciousness of Wisconsin voters. The campaign does not have money to run expensive advertisements and is relying on social networking and door knocking to get across its message of healing political divisions and working on practical solutions to Wisconsin’s pressing social and economic problems.

In a brief interview with journalists after delivering the petitions, Vinehout said, “The people of Wisconsin are tired of angry name calling. They want solutions, not sound bites. They’re tired of money in politics and being told who to vote for.”

Vinehout holds a press conference under Scott Walker's office windows.
Vinehout holds a press conference under Scott Walker's office windows.

She added, “We need to stop making enemies out of business and labor. We need to work together to solve the difficult problems of the state.”

Summing up the heart of the Vinehout campaign, a volunteer said, “We want to change politics as usual, not just change governors.”

The primary election is scheduled for May 8 when Vinehout will contend with Secretary of State Doug LaFollette, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to run on the Democratic Party ticket against Scott Walker. The general election is set for June 5.

Rebecca Kemble is an Anthropologist who studied decolonization in Kenya. She serves on the Board of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and is a founding member of the Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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