When Ben Manski declared his candidacy for the Wisconsin Assembly, the Madison Capital Times wrote that the “veteran Green Party activist and nationally recognized advocate for democratic reform, [has] entered the competition in the west side district where he cut his political teeth.” Since then, the former national Green Party co-chair’s campaign has taken off. Manski has won endorsements from the Madison teachers union, student groups, Thom Hartmann, Progressive Push, and 21 local elected officials.
Progressive Push National Director Luis A. Cuevas wrote of Manski:
“Ben Manski is an outstanding candidate, the kind most needed to represent working families and progressive ideals in Wisconsin as well as our nation. We have very high standards, and don’t make endorsements in many races, but Manski’s record of proven activism speaks for itself… His goal is to empower the people of his district to take control of their lives, through participatory democracy, getting them involved in budgeting decisions, creating a better sustainable community where they can be sure that their children will inherit a better place to live. We urge all progressives to support Ben Manski, relentless, undaunted, and resilient, he is the candidate who best represents your values, we know he represents ours.”
A co-founder of Move to Amend, a national coalition seeking to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowing unlimited corporate spending in elections, Manski is a longtime fighter for democracy. His platform calls for instant runoff voting, proportional representation, public campaign financing, passage of a Wisconsin Equal Rights Amendment, and legislation to abolish the legal fiction of corporate personhood. He supports progressive taxation, a state bank, legalizing and taxing marijuana, and single-payer health care for Wisconsin. Manski is also a strong advocate for building a green economy and reforming public education.
Leading Democrats, including Progressive Democrats of America National Director Tim Carpenter, are supporting Manski, not only because of Manski’s strong progressive credentials, but also because his Democratic opponent Brett Hulsey has worked for the coal and ethanol lobbies. A member of the Dane County Democratic Party’s Executive Committee said, “If Ben were 50% better than Hulsey, then I would support Hulsey because he is the Democratic nominee… but Ben is more than 50% better than Hulsey.”
Manski has raised and spent nearly $20,000, and needs another $25,000 to pay for printing, mailing and radio, tv, and print advertising by October 15th.