Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Meet Candidate Michele Doolan, Running For Governor Of Wisconsin (Interview)

Doolan provides an inspiring vision of citizens campaigning to keep democracy in the hands of the people

The 2018 gubernatorial election season in Wisconsin is fast approaching, and I find myself being inspired by two candidacies.

Mike McCabe is announcing his run later this month as sort of an Independent-Democratic option that will challenge both parties to make change. His candidacy inspires me because it makes me feel as though a second wave of the Progressive Movement could be coming to Wisconsin (and possibly the nation) in the years ahead.

Doolan, via YouTube
But I am also inspired by a second candidacy because it demonstrates that citizens are beginning to rise up, to take back their government out of the controlling hands of corporate interests, and put it right back where it belongs in any democracy: within the care of the people.

Michele Doolan, a Wisconsinite with roots all across the state (currently in Cross Plains), is running for governor with a very limited amount of political experience. As a business owner, she is a member of Dane Buy Local, and serves as part of many other organizations in the area. She is also married to an Iraq War vet, and a mother to three children.

She says she is inspired to run because, looking at what we currently have in office, it was clear that someone like her had to step up.

“I’ve got a different perspective on the standard obstacles people consider when running for government office,” Doolan told me when I reached out to her recently.

So what made her, a political outsider, decide to run? Advice and encouragement from others, who seemed excited about the prospect.

“I asked [close friends] the following question: ‘What if someone who doesn’t have a political agenda, or a political career to worry, about ran against Scott Walker?’” she says. Those individuals “encouraged me to give it a shot.”

It’s by no means an easy task — and requires the help of those who surround you. “Your family needs to be ‘all in,’” Doolan tells me, “because it will absorb you a bit. You also need to keep your focus on the reasons why you’re running for office and never waiver on that.”

Importantly, you must have “clear boundaries for what you’re willing to do and what you’re not willing to do to make it into office,” she says.

On the issues, Doolan explains that, after two terms of Gov. Scott Walker, “it’s hard not to want to try to fix everything all at once.” But the “cost of living versus the average wage earner’s earning is in the forefront of my mind, as well as our collective investment in education,” she tells me.

These have to be some of the first priorities, she explains. “It’s difficult to get people excited to really consider new ideas when so many people are on the edge of financial disaster on a day to day basis, and have been encouraged by the right to blame each other for it” she says. “But that struggle needs to be addressed beyond say, a $50 tax break on property tax.”

And on the controversial project involving a $3 billion giveaway to Foxconn? “I would like to point out how anti-free market it is to ask the taxpayers to foot the bill for a private, outside company to bring jobs into the area,” she says. “The fact that it’s being rushed makes me wonder what’s really going on there. It screams politics that will benefit a select few rather than contribute to a long term economic goal that benefits all of us.”

Doolan isn’t afraid to speak her mind about President Donald Trump either — unlike Gov. Scott Walker, who refused to condemn the president after surprising comments involving white supremacists and neo-Nazis, describing some of them as "fine people."

On Trump, Doolan says, “How hard was it for Trump to form the sentence, ‘Nazis and bigotry are bad?’”

And on Walker being soft on Trump, she adds, “I think Wisconsin needs a leader that isn’t afraid to stand up to a President that is uncomfortable with protecting America from a White Supremacy movement. Maybe a plucky, small-town mom is just what we need?”

It could be just what this state requires.

Doolan is facing huge obstacles — as a newcomer to statewide elections, she will have just a year to make a name for herself, to travel across the state, and raise funds for her candidacy. Still, she’s running a campaign to become Wisconsin’s next governor as a citizen who saw that there are a lot of things wrong that need correcting.

You can't help but to feel inspired by that kind of sentiment.