Meet the Guy Who Might be Wisconsin's Next Governor

Mike McCabe for Governor

 Photo: J. Scott Kunkel

Photo: J. Scott Kunkel

Yesterday, I hopped into a car and drove three hours north of Madison, WI to a small town called, Curtiss, WI. I was brought on to record and document Mike McCabe announcing his campaign and that he will be running for Governor in 2018. I've never been one to follow our local government standings, but after the previous presidential election I've witness our country become heavily divided. Seeing firsthand how corrupted our government is and how it is being controlled by big money (the 1%). 

 Photo: J. Scott Kunkel

Photo: J. Scott Kunkel

Wearing his trademark blue jeans, McCabe made the announcement Tuesday at a hard-to-reach place: the farm he grew up on, down a gravel road north of the Clark County community of Curtiss.

"We're close to 200 miles from the state capitol but it might as well be a million," McCabe quipped to about a dozen reporters who made the trek to the countryside.

He said he chose the location to make a point.

"In places like this, down gravel roads like this one, in places all across the state of Wisconsin, regular people are being ignored," he said. "Their wishes aren't being taken into consideration and their interests sure as heck aren't being served at the state capitol."

 Photo: J. Scott Kunkel

Photo: J. Scott Kunkel

“Now is not the time for same old, same old,” McCabe said in an interview. “I’m running to shake up and transform the political system and get our government working for all of us and not just the wealthy and well-connected.”

VIDEO: 

Check out Mike's full announcement ceremony here. If you don't have time to watch the whole thing, skip to 23:20 for Mike's speech. 

Below are some words expanding on McCabe's run for governor. 

McCabe starts run for governor, challenges same-old, same-old politics

From the Clark County farm where he grew up, veteran government watchdog and democracy reform advocate Mike McCabe today announced he is running for governor to shake up and transform Wisconsin’s corrupted political system.

“Wisconsin is up to its eyeballs in problems. Same goes for our country as a whole. The problems grow out of political and economic inequality. Our society has been made more and more elitist, both politically and economically. It has been divided into royals and commoners,” McCabe said. “I am running for one reason and one reason only – to get our government working as well for the commoners as it does for the royals.”

He went on to say: “Wisconsin has lost its way and is becoming a shadow of its former self. Our state once was an industrial powerhouse, but now is leading the nation in shrinkage of the middle class and is dead last in new business start-ups. Roads and bridges are deteriorating badly, with some towns tearing up pavement and going back to gravel because they can’t afford to fill the potholes. Too many can’t drink what comes out of the water faucets in their own homes. Schools are slipping toward mediocrity. Education beyond high school is unaffordable, burying so many young people under a mountain of debt. The root cause of all of this is a poisoned political culture that celebrates greed, a political system that caters to a privileged few and ignores the rest of us.”

McCabe added: “Our government is repeatedly being put to work for the wealthy and well-connected at everyone else’s expense. The political system is broken and needs to be overhauled. The political establishment has to be forced to change its ways. To get Wisconsin back on the right track, we need a very different kind of leadership and a new politics.”

McCabe’s Principle Over Party campaign will barnstorm the state with a message about getting government working for all of us and not just a few, living wages for every worker, health care for all, debt-free education and job training, and high-speed Internet to every doorstep. Other areas of emphasis will include renewable energy development, better road upkeep, returning decision-making authority to local communities, and restoring protections of Wisconsin’s natural resources. 

For 15 years, McCabe led the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonpartisan watchdog group that tracks the money in elections, exposes corruption and works to make people matter more than money in politics. (wisdc.org/wdcaccomplishments.php)  He went on to start up the grassroots group Blue Jean Nation, which works to empower regular people to challenge the political establishment.

McCabe does not belong to any political party but is entering the Democratic primary. The campaign’s website is GovernorBlueJeans.com.