Government Of, By and For the People

Government Of, By and For the People

2016 | Week of February 8 | #1136

“A government of, by and for the people.” Does that inspiring phrase describe your state and local government? Because it should.  Our system of electing our government officials is what facilitates a “government of the people, by the people, [and] for the people.”

In Wisconsin, we the people get to choose our elected officials, from assemblymen, mayors and circuit court judges to state senators, state Supreme Court justices and the governor. Our elected officials come from among us—that’s “of the people.” We elect them—that’s “by the people.” And they represent us—that’s “for the people.”

In reality, this system only works “for the people” if the people do a little work for themselves.  First, are the men and women we elect “from among us”?  Are they people of character who will accurately represent our beliefs, values and interests? And this is absolutely critical—do we get ourselves out to the polling place and exercise our right to vote on election days?

Next Tuesday, February 16, we’ll have that opportunity.  That’s the Spring Nonpartisan Primary Election Day in Wisconsin. If your state and/or local government don’t look like they’re of, by and for the people then you need to get out and cast an educated ballot next Tuesday for some new faces.

And, if you are satisfied that your state and/or local government do appear to be of, by and for the people—then you need to get out and cast an educated ballot next Tuesday for the current elected officials who are getting it right.

Here’s a quick run-down of the types of races that will be on your ballot next Tuesday. At the top of your ballot is probably the most important race with the biggest implications. It’s for a ten-year term on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. Three candidates are in the primary and the top two finishers after February 16 will go on to the Spring General Election on Tuesday, April 5.

The four candidates are incumbent Justice Rebecca Bradley, Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge Joe Donald and Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judge JoAnne KIoppenberg. The outcome of this race could affect the make-up of the State Supreme Court, which is currently said to have a 5-2 conservative majority.

Wisconsin Family Council has an educational information sheet on the three candidates for the State Supreme Court on our website at That’s

Depending on where you live, you may also have a primary for a circuit court judge, for mayor, county board, city council, town or village board, or school board. Finding information about local candidates can be extremely difficult and frustrating. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Visit, and check out your sample ballot or call your municipal clerk’s office for a complete list of the races and candidates that will be on your ballot next Tuesday.
  • Determine what the issues are in each of those races.
  • Call the candidates to find out why they are running, what issues are important to them and who has endorsed them.
  • Look for interviews, forums, etc., with candidates in your local newspaper and on the radio and cable TV.
  • Check the Internet for candidates’ websites and information.
  • Talk with people from your community who are tuned into state or local politics to get their perspectives.

Doing our election homework is how we ensure we have a government that is of, by and for the people. We identify and elect men and women of integrity who are interested in the good of the community and the state, not just their political careers or the siren call of power.

Can you imagine your local government, your state government with officials like that? Don’t just imagine it—make it happen! Identify those good candidates, share what you learn with others and encourage them to vote, and then actually go to the polls and vote for those candidates on Tuesday, February 16.

Contact Wisconsin Family Council at 888-378-7395 if you need a hard copy of the State Supreme Court primary information.  See you at the polls on Tuesday, February 16!

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

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