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social sciences

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Pocan, Mark (b. 1964)  
page: 1  2  

"Many people came with rainbow flags to show support for collective bargaining," he stated to Johnson. "I think it's the collective fight that we have against people who want to take away rights--it's just growing and becoming more powerful."

A few months later Pocan attended--not by invitation--the convention of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative organization that links business leaders with legislators to help the latter craft "model legislation" to promote special interests.

Sponsor Message.

In an article in The Progressive (Madison), Pocan compared the interaction of the business people and law-makers to a dating service, writing, "If you are a single, somewhat unattractive corporation (maybe you have a chemical dumping problem or something) and you need a little love that only a state legislator can give, ALEC is for you." Pocan made it clear that ALEC is not for him.

Pocan has also been an advocate for healthcare, successfully working to include more people in Wisconsin's BadgerCare plan and to establish the Wisconsin Quality Home Care Commission.

His efforts to protect the environment have won him numerous plaudits from the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters and other groups dedicated to environmental protection.

Another of Pocan's causes has been ethics reform, and he reached across the aisle to enlist the support of conservative Republican Mark Gundrum. "It's really the first time I've worked with him. We were often leading the debate against each other," Pocan stated to Scott Milfred of the Wisconsin State Journal, but he saw an opportunity for a positive change and did what he could to work for it, which is consistent with the philosophy that he expressed to Jack Craver of the Capital Times: "I'm an ideologue in many ways, but I'm practical enough to know how to get things done. For our progressive values that matter most, I've often been there and done that."

As expected, Pocan achieved a solid win in the November 2012 election, defeating his Republican opponent, Chad Lee, by a margin of 68 to 23 percent.

At a victory celebration on election night, Pocan acknowledged the support of his mother and brother, who were in attendance, and especially that of his husband, who was at his side on stage. In his speech to the enthusiastic crowd, Pocan stated, "This district expects a lot from its representatives, and I plan to work hard to be another strong, progressive voice like Tammy [Baldwin]," who moves on to the United States Senate after her own successful campaign.

Linda Rapp

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Conklin, Melanie. "Gay Legislator's Marriage Is about Being a Couple." (December 13, 2006):

Craver, Jack. "Race to the Left; In the Second District Democratic Stronghold, Pocan, Roys Battle for Progressives' Votes." Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin) (July 25, 2012): 18.

Erickson, Doug. "Pocan Wins as Dems Retain 2nd District; Incumbents Sweep in Other Congressional Seats." Wisconsin State Journal (Madison) (November 7, 2012):

Johnson, Chris. "Gay Wis. Lawmaker Hopes to Win Baldwin's Seat." Washington Blade (November 15, 2011):

Mark Pocan for Congress web site:

Milfred, Scott. "Odd Couple Lifts Hope for Reform." Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wisconsin) (December 17, 2006): C3.

Pocan, Mark. "Inside the ALEC Dating Service." The Progressive (Madison, Wisconsin) 75.10 (October 2011): 19-21.

Potente, Joe. "Kenosha Native to Seek Seat in Congress." Kenosha News (September 7, 2011):

Rathbun, Mary Yeater. "Pocan's Biz Dominates Local Yard Sign Scene." Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin) (April 2, 2007): A1.


    Citation Information
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Pocan, Mark  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2012  
    Date Last Updated March 28, 2013  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2012 glbtq, Inc.  


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