Madness in Madison – Recall ’em All!

By YeOldeScribe ~ March 9th, 2011 @ 12:09 am

PoliticalProgressives.com was recently asked by one of our commenters about the recall efforts that are going on throughout the state. It’s an interesting scenario – after all, there’s three groups of recall petitions being passed around now – a recall for Wis. Gov. Scott Walker, a recall for the 14 missing Democratic State Senators, and even a recall for the 19 Republican State Senators who support the bill. So pretty much anyone in state government these days. We’ll take a quick look at each recall effort, summarizing why the recall is being pushed, and its chances of success.

Gov. Scott Walker

Why: Democrats and Moderates are upset that Walker has been uncompromising and unwilling to listen to Senate Democrats and citizens opposed to the bill. They claim that Walker is trying to slam something down the throats of his constituents that they don’t want and that he’s doing something they didn’t elect him to do. People calling for a recall are especially distraught about Walker’s plans for removing collective bargaining from the table.

Feasibility: Of the three recall initiatives, this one has the best chance of happening – Walker has more (negative) name recognition than any of the Senators who are facing recall, and he really is the face of the Budget Repair Bill. That being said, not gonna happen. First of all, the recall can’t happen until Walker has served at least a year, delaying any recall efforts until November of this year. Once that date rolls around, petitioners will have 60 days to collect about 550,000 signatures from valid WI residents. By then, the political fervor will have died down, and those opposed to Walker will most likely fall woefully short in their efforts to recall the governor. Enjoy the next three and a half years, Wisconsin.

Alternative: Democrats have filed ethics charges against Walker in regards to his phone conversation with who he believed was David Koch. Dems allege the phone call shows Walker used state offices for political purposes, and had illegal third party coordination in dealings with campaign finances.

WI Senate Democrats

Why: Republicans and Moderates feel that Democrats are abandoning their posts as Senators by running away to Illinois and refusing to vote on Walker’s Budget Reform Bill. They contend that the missing Senators aren’t doing their job and then can therefore be recalled. Some of their constituents are upset that by running away, they’re essentially silencing the voices of the people instead of speaking out against the bill in the capitol.

Feasibility: Six of the 14 Democrats face recall, but we don’t think any of them are losing sleep over it. While this group comes in 2nd in our rankings, we don’t believe any Democrats have to worry about being recalled. (Except for maybe Sen. Jim Hansen. After all, PoliticalProgressives.com would never bet against Green Bay Mayor Jim “Slim Schmitty” Schmitt and his political machine. PS: PoliticalProgressives.com has a problem with what you’re doing here, Jim.)

WI Senate Republicans

Why: Democrats and Moderates are angry with Republicans who are supporting Walker’s bill for a variety of reasons, but those who are most upset come from districts that traditionally vote Democratic but went Republican in the last election. They’re upset because many of the senators in question have been supporters of labor and collective bargaining. They feel the Republican Senators aren’t listening to their voices, only Walker’s.

Feasibility: More Republicans face recall then Democrats (8 to 6), but that’s just another reason why this effort really isn’t going to happen. First, Democrats are more upset with Walker than they are with the individual senators. Second, as of today, the recall efforts for Sen. Robert Cowles (one of the more vulnerable senators) reached only 8% of their goal. With such a low turnout now, these recalls aren’t going to get off the ground anytime soon.

There’s our mini-roundup on the recall situation. Do we think the recalls should happen? PoliticalProgressives.com agrees that the recalls should happen – if enough signatures are collected. We’re not advocating a recall for any of the parties mentioned above, but we’re not saying it’d be wrong, either. (Except in the linked article about how Green Bay is using a governmental office to play partisan politics. We’re not cool with that, and that should stop. Now.) We encourage anyone to sign (or sign up to sign in the future) any petition that they feel is best for a progressive-minded government.

That being said, if you were only planning on signing one petition this year…

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1 Response to Madness in Madison – Recall ’em All!

  1. Betty Badger

    I think you are mistaken that voters are not unhappy with the individual senators. At least 3 recall efforts will likely succeed and are going very very strong: Kapanke, Crowles, and Hopper. You are truly underestimating the anger of the people this has affected, and the people who are deeply attached to them. It may be because you are young and underestimate the ability of people to organize. This is truly a ground roots effort, aided by technology that is allowing databases to be collected for the very purpose of going back and collecting those signatures. The more negative ads the Koch folks run, the more anger they will fuel, because people are insulted that our government was put up for sale. Every $$ spent against the democratic senators, or unions is another vote for recall.
    In addition, Hopper will be investigated in regards to both his residency prior to his election and since, to assure he has met the legal standards required for him to hold office, and of course, to collect his per diem. That is going to keep that effort alive and fueled.
    Kapanke and his personal business, the Loggers and his dippin’ dots are going to suffer in addition to him being recalled because his vote is view as a vote against teachers, against kids and education, and against public employees. While the budget is likely to result in many of these people losing their jobs, the face of those votes are those senators. The smugness of the Fitzgerald brothers on National TV and their disrespect of common folks made all the Republican senators vulnerable, where prior they may have been- as you say–not the face of the budget repair bill. But the damage has been done, and these recall elections will be held. The question in my mind is whether these recalls will extend in to some of the assembly seats. The assembly passed both bills, and has managed the anonymity that you attribute to the senators. But, it only takes a few with courage to ignite the rally cry. We may see a few go down there as well. I know for certain one assemblyman Huebsch will be unseated. Whether he gets recalled or not, he won’t be in office beyond 2012, for certain.

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