Thursday, May 24, 2012

I'm still dying for democracy

Through February and March of last year I was on hunger strike at the capitol in Madison.  This lasted for 28 days until Judge Sumi placed a restraining order against the Budget Repair Bill (Act 10) which was handed to Walker through the Koch brothers and ALEC.  Every day I was in the capitol with my sign which read "Dying for Democracy" and also kept track of the length of my hunger strike.

Throughout the hunger strike I was fortunate to have medical personnel attend to me and watch over my health.  I will spare you the ugly details but on days 26 and 27 of my hunger strike some terrible things were happening to me physically, and I was told that I was going into organ failure and was given 3 - 8 days left to live.  I was resigned to my fate, and as I sat on the cold granite floor of the capitol I began to wait to die.

And then on day 28 the court ruling came down against Walker's radical and extremist legislation.  The timing for me could not have possibly been any better.  I was able to walk away from my hunger strike with honor and integrity.  After about a week I was able to take in solid food again and was beginning to feel much better.  I thought the physical torment phase of my ordeal was over.  I was wrong.

A hunger strike is not the kind of thing you can ever fully recover from.  At a certain point your body becomes permanently changed and you can not get back to the condition you previously were in.  This is becoming more and more a daily part of my existence.

In January of this year I registered with the Government Accountability Board as a candidate for the Wisconsin State Assembly in my home 48th district.  The response has been very strong and very positive and for that I will always be grateful.  But along with all those positive responses and well wishing there is a ton of work that goes into a campaign, and likewise a ton of stress......perhaps more like a metric ton.  I campaigned nights and evenings while continuing my work as a activist/organizer during the day.

By the time I had the maximum number of signatures allowed to run for office I was ragged.  I was living off of coffee and cigarettes.  My diet was horrible, when I did eat, and sleep had become a pipe dream.  My stress levels were becoming extremely problematic.  Around seven or eight weeks ago I was meeting with people at home when I collapsed.  It was assumed that I was having a coronary episode of some type and luckily for me I had a medically trained professional with me.  I refused hospital treatment due to my insurance status (a bad call) and my friend in medicine stayed with me until a day or so later when I had stabilized.

Being the strong willed creature that I am, after two days I returned to the campaign trail and the capitol.  And for awhile things were reasonably tolerable.  Sure I couldn't eat or sleep very well and was having constant chest pains but I slogged on nonetheless.  Then last week I went down again at the capitol and was transported to the hospital, triaged and admitted.  My skin was completely gray, they told me my eyes were gray instead of blue.  My blood pressure hovered around 200 over 100.  My chest pains were bad enough to cause staff to put morphine into my I.V. line.

After two days in the hospital I was able to be released and was taken out of Madison to rest and recover as well as I am able. However I was told that I was extremely lucky and would not get lucky again if I kept pushing myself the way I have been.  I was also told that I had not recovered at all from the organ damage I suffered while on hunger strike, and may very likely end up on a organ donation list within a couple of years.
 I am still outside of Madison and will return before the recall election to again assume my work in defeating Scott (soon to be perp-walked) Walker and defend Wisconsin.  I love this state and her people, even the ones tricked by corrupt politicians into defending a stance contrary to their own best interest.  I have proven my point that I will go to almost any length in pursuit of that goal.  I almost died last year in that endeavor, and nearly so again just this last week.  I feel that I have run out of luck and second chances and had some tough decision making to do.  And so I met with friends, comrades and my campaign staff and it was decided that I had no real choice.........and so at this time I am announcing that I am TERMINATING my campaign for office effective immediately.

I am not a member of the GOTea, so I will not lie to you as they do.  My campaign is over, it is terminated, I am not "suspending" it while continuing to take in money for something that is not going to happen.  And so people of the 48th district I leave you in the hands of the very fair, the very admirable, Melissa Agard Sargent my challenger from the Democratic party.

Three others have also recently just jumped into the 48th but I don't see them as being very strong nor viable but we will have to wait and see on that.  I am not endorsing another candidate yet but in all fairness I don't see anybody giving Melissa much of a run for her money.

And so .............that is it, the end of my assembly run, just like that.  Seems so weird and yet I should not be capable of being weirded out at this point in time.  Not after my experiences in the trenches the last 16 months, but still that is how it is.  In a few days I will turn in my candidacy papers and signatures to the GAB to validate all the work that has been done.  And then I will officially and legally withdraw from the election.  I am not giving up my work for the Wisconsin Movement, I will continue to fight the extremist regime that threatens to destroy all the hard work of generations of decent Wisconsin citizens.

In conclusion some thanks are due at this point and so to all the medical staff that have kept me alive a very serious and heartfelt thank you to all.  To Mike my campaign treasurer, to Steve my I.T. person who had just come aboard, to Jim my legal counsel .....thank you so very much for your energy, your loyalty and efforts, none of this could have happened without you.

To my friends Yell and Eric I appreciate all your help in arranging the initial fundraisers and being invaluable in putting all that together.  To Ash and Mike and all the others who signed up to be canvassing staff for my assembly run a huge thank you.

Last but not least by any means, to my beloved, who has kept me sane and stood by me through thick and thin throughout it all  THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU.  Your inspiration and support continues to motivate me every day.

And all of you readers who help to keep me on track and on target, your devotion to being aware of the struggles Wisconsin faces is what will tip the scales back to normalcy and prosperity for the badger state, I thank you all as well.  I am honored and humbled to say that I stand with you all....SOLIDARITY FOREVER !

On Wisconsin!    FORWARD!!!!

2 comments:

Quiet One said...

Matt,
So sorry to hear this. PLEASE take care of yourself. You have already given so much to the cause. We all want you around for the better times ahead!

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