Wisconsin Recall Elections

WALKER SURVIVES

Scott Walker Tom Barrett Recall Results

Apparently 30 million dollars can buy an election.

The Huffington Post

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was projected the winner of Tuesday night’s gubernatorial primary by NBC News.

The latest polls showed Walker leading Democratic challenger Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett going into the contest.

The AP relays background on the race:

The first-term Republican was back on the ballot just a year and a half after his election. Enraged Democrats and labor activists gathered more than 900,000 signatures to force the vote after they failed to stop Walker and his GOP allies in the state Legislature from stripping most public employees of their collective bargaining rights.The recall is a rematch of the 2010 election in which Walker beat Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett by nearly 6 points.

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WALKER RECALL EFFORT THWARTED BY ‘DIRTY TRICKS’

This was expected and to me it’s unacceptable.  How is it in our Democracy, things like this are accepted as the norm?

The Huffington Post

Few races next year will carry as much symbolic importance as the campaign to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R). His push to strip state workers of collective bargaining rights set off a nationwide debate over the role of unions and public workers and reenergized progressives who were still recovering from the tough losses they sustained during the 2010 elections.

Both sides recognize the importance of the campaign, which is also targeting the lieutenant governor and three Republican state senators. Progressive activists are working to collect enough petition signatures to force a recall of the governor, and Walker and his allies have already started an ad campaign in response.

Underlying all this is a scattered amount of isolated, underhanded activity that may be illegal. The past weekend even saw two arrests of recall opponents.

On Sunday, a man was arrested on allegations that he defaced recall petitions.

“The suspect stood in line to sign a petition and when given the petition clipboard, he scribbled out some names on the actual form, and the recall worker took the clipboard back, and he left the scene without any incident,” West Bend, Wis. police Sgt. Matt Rohlinger told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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Wisconsin Recall Election Results: Democrats Keep State Senate Seats

 

It’s great to see that in this recall election, the Dems succeeded!

Huffington Post 

Both of the Democratic Wisconsin state senators up for recall elections have survived.

The Democrats targeted in Tuesday’s election were among the 14 senators who fled the state in February in opposition to Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal curbing public employee collective bargaining rights.

Both won in recalls against Republican challengers.

Democrats picked up two seats through the nine recalls but were unable to wrest majority Senate control away from the GOP, which now holds a narrow 17-16 majority. Before the recalls, Republicans had a 19-14 edge in the chamber.

Democratic Sen. Bob Wirch of Pleasant Prairie defeated Kenosha attorney Jonathan Steitz, and Sen. Jim Holperin of Conover beat tea party Republican Kim Simac of Eagle River.

A third Democrat won a recall election last month. Two Republicans were defeated in six recall elections last week.

Even though they remain in the minority, Democrats were savoring Tuesday’s victories.

Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate said Democrats have “fundamentally changed the face of power in the Wisconsin Legislature” through the recalls. Even though Republicans remain in the majority, Tate said Democrats’ picking up two seats and making gains in Republican districts sets the table for big wins next year.

“It’s really hard to go five for nine and not be pleased of the progress that we made,” he said.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said in a statement that he was proud the GOP maintained its majority through the recalls. He said Tuesday’s results were a rejection of the recall process.

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Gilbert Brown, Famed Green Bay Packer, Urges Wisconsin Voters To Recall Republicans

Today may just turn out to be a pivotal moment for the progressive movement across the nation.  All eyes are on Wisconsin and the re-call efforts of its citizens.  Go Wisconsin!

The Huffington Post

As Wisconsin voters head to the polls Tuesday for the first of two critical recall election days, the labor backed coalition We Are Wisconsin is pulling out the big guns.

The group released a robocall campaign on Tuesday featuring mammoth former Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Gilbert Brown. The call urges voters to replace six Republican state Senators who supported Governor Scott Walker’s controversial budget bill.

“Hello this is Gilbert Brown, defensive lineman for the ’97 Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, calling on behalf of We Are Wisconsin. I have a message for you about Tuesday’s election, I know a little bit about playing defense and right now it is time to defend Wisconsin. We are holding the line, putting our children’s education before big corporate tax giveaways. It is up to voters like you to make the difference. Please gather your friends and neighbors and go to the polls on Tuesday from 7 am to 8 pm and support Nancy Nusbaum for Senate.”

Famous for his girth — he weighed in, by conservative estimates, at 340 pounds during his playing days — Brown anchored a Green Bay defensive line that led the Packers to two Super Bowls, one of which they won. Nicknamed the Gravedigger, Brown wasn’t exactly known for getting involved in progressive political causes. But perhaps his time as a member of the National Football League Players Association compelled him to help push back against a Walker budget that stripped collective bargaining rights from public sector unions.Tuesday is a big day for union forces on the ground in Wisconsin. Picking up three seats would give Democrats control of the state Senate. More broadly, losses by multiple sitting Republicans would send a message to other state legislatures that there are consequences for pushing harsh anti-union measures.

With those stakes, there are few spokesmen in the state more revered than beloved former Packers. Current Packer cornerback Charles Woodson spoke out forcefully against the Walker budget when it was being debated in February.

Americans For Prosperity Accused Of Voter Suppression In Wisconsin Recall Elections

In my opinion, voter suppression is an insult to every American who believes the Constitution has set guidelines to avert such activities.  Once again the GOP usurps the same Constitution they claim to “love”.

Huffington Post

Patch.com reported that Charles Shultz, a Democrat who lives in the 10th Senate District, received an absentee ballot application form last week from AFP that contained incorrect information on it. The form instructed him to mail it back to the wrong location by Aug. 11 — two days after the recall election in his district between Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R) and Shelly Moore (D) is set to take place, on Aug. 9.

Politico obtained a copy of the AFP mailer, which was also distributed to voters in the 2nd District.

The Wisconsin Democratic Party filed a formal complaint Tuesday with the state’s Government Accountability Board over the issue, accusing AFP of “falsely representing the time frame” for the upcoming August 9 recall election. Shultz filed his own complaint with the GAB on Saturday.

AFP may also be getting involved in the increasingly heated ad wars that have been leading up to the recall elections. According to One Wisconsin Now, AFP has reportedly purchased over $150,000 in television ad time in the Green Bay, Madison and Milwaukee areas.

A spokesperson for Americans for Prosperity did not respond when asked for comment on the purchase, but One Wisconsin Now, a non-profit statewide progressive communications network, says the ad buy appears to be an effort to help the six Republican state Senators who were challenged by recall elections after supporting Governor Scott Walker’s anti-collective bargaining legislation in early 2011.

Scot Ross, the Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now, said at least one of the AFP-backed ads will air in support of two Republicans, Sen. Luther Olsen (District 14) and Sen. Robert Cowles (District 2). The group has also confirmed a $90,000 AFP ad buy in District 12, currently represented by Sen. Jim Holperin, a Democrat who is being recalled.

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Democratic State Sen. Dave Hansen Wins First Wisconsin Recall Election

Yes! This is just the beginning…

Huffington Post

Wisconsin state Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) handily won Tuesday’s recall election, giving Democrats a victory in the first of nine contests being held this summer.

With 65 percent of the vote in, the Associated Press called the race for Hansen, who had more thandouble the votes of his Republican challenger, David VanderLeest.

Democrats quickly put out statements declaring the race a referendum on Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) agenda.

“Scott Walker and his cronies pulled out all the stops trying to defeat Dave Hansen, and the people of the 30th Senate District said loudly and clearly Tuesday, ‘Enough,'” said the Wisconsin Democratic Party.

“Sen. Hansen’s victory is a validation of the lengths he and the rest of the ‘Wisconsin 14’ went to in their efforts to stall the Wisconsin GOP’s extreme right-wing, anti-working family agenda,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Executive Director Michael Sargeant. “His constituents understand that he fights for them, not for extreme ideologues.”

Former Democratic Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold also tweeted, “Congratulations to WI Senator Hansen on his victory. We are one step closer to stopping Gov. Walker’s agenda. Forward.”

Throughout the campaign, VanderLeest was dogged by questions about his legal and personal troubles. He has $25,000 in unpaid property taxes and a history of domestic abuse.

On Monday, he announced he was planning to file a “slander lawsuit” against Hansen and several left-leaning groups.

Six Republican and three Democratic state senators are facing recall elections this summer, withmost of the elections taking place in August. The efforts to change the make-up of the state Senate came after Republicans passed Walker’s controversial measure stripping public employees of their collective bargaining rights. Senate Democrats left the state for 21 days in order to delay their colleagues from pushing through the bill.

Democrats need to pick up three seats to win control of the upper chamber, which would give them the power to block many of Walker’s proposals. Sen. Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse), whose district has a strong Democratic presence, is widely considered the member most vulnerable to recall. Sens. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) and Jim Holperin (D-Conover) are also top targets.

VanderLeest, who organized the recall petition drive against Hansen, was never the Republican Party’s first choice as a candidate. Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), who was expected to challenge Hansen, did not receive enough valid petition signatures to quality for the ballot.

 

Wisconsin Debate Shifts To Recall Elections

To paraphrase a famous (often misquoted) saying:  Hell hath no fury like a populous scorned!

Huffington Post

Nearly a month after the Wisconsin standoff over union rights ended, some of the fervor from that debate has shifted to recall efforts targeting lawmakers in both parties – Republicans who voted to cut back collective bargaining and Democrats who fled the state to try to stop them.

Now that the law has passed, organizers are focusing on signature-gathering efforts. But of the 16 state senators who were originally targeted, only six appear likely to face an election threatening removal. And before recall elections can be held, supporters need to find candidates to run against the incumbents.

Still, voter outrage remains high in many places, helping to stir interest in the recalls.

“A lot of legislators are going to be looking over their shoulders a little more in the future,” said Michael Kraft, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay. “And if they are in the middle of a recall effort, they might be nervous about that. They might moderate what they say and how they approach the budget.”

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