I’ll let Mario Piperni describe my feelings on last night’s “Wisconsin purchase”…
In the age of Citizens United, outspending your opponent by and 8 to 1 ratio with the help of out-of-state billionaires, does have its benefits.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker retained his seat in the election that sought to recall him from office, defeating his challenger Tom Barrett in this election (as he did in the 2010 governor’s race). Walker won with strong support from Republicans, conservatives, Tea Party supporters and a majority of votes from independents.
On the bright side.
At this point, nearly all Barrett voters (92 percent) would support President Obama in the fall, while fewer – 76 percent- of Walker voters plan to back the Republican, Mitt Romney. Seventeen percent of Walker’s supporters said if the presidential election were held today they would vote for President Obama.
Voters in Wisconsin also give President Obama the edge on improving the economy — 42 percent said he would do a better job on that issue, compared to 38 percent who picked Romney. By a wider margin, voters said the president would do a better job helping the middle class (46 percent), while fewer (37 percent) gave Romney the upper hand on that.
As for last night, Walker won the auction. Wisconsin lost.
Apparently 30 million dollars can buy an election.
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.
Continue reading here…
Scott Walker’s campaign must be running scared…
From Eau Claire to Beloit, voters across Wisconsin are relaying stories via Twitter, Facebook and online message boards about anonymous “robocalls” from allies of Scott Walker, telling them–incorrectly–that if they signed petitions to recall Governor Walker, their vote in today’s crucial election has been recorded.
An NBC reporter tweeted that a family friend was one recipient of the call:
Stating it clearly and concisely, Scott Walker is a crook, period.
As Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker heads into the final stretch in his effort to hang onto his job, he is finding it increasingly more difficult to make his case honestly— or without using huge sums of taxpayer money to sway voters.
While life would likely have been easier for the Governor had collective bargaining remained the key issue of the campaign, now that the election has become largely about Walker’s record on job creation, the polls reveal that things are becoming increasingly more difficult for Scott Walker. Wisconsin currently competes with Nevada for the dubious title of worst job creator in the nation, resulting in the polls tightening into a dead heat, leaving the Governor with reason to be worried.
In the effort to move withering public opinion in his direction, the Governor has embarked on a campaign strategy highly dependent upon finding someone else to blame for the poor economic performance of his state. In the process, Walker has resorted to committing a huge amount of taxpayer money to aid in his political survival, while mounting a campaign that—to anyone paying attention—only serves to highlight his own failures over the past decade.
Not surprisingly, the ‘someone’ chosen by Walker to play the role of scapegoat is his recall election opponent, Mayor Tom Barrett of city of Milwaukee—a city with some of the most difficult poverty problems in the nation.
The effort kicked off ten days ago when, after fifteen months in the Governor’s chair where Walker has consistently cried poverty in the state budget as the rational for his many controversial moves, the Governor miraculously came up with $100 million to fund economic development in Milwaukee’s poorest areas—money Walker claims will come from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Board.
Even more surprising is the astonishing resemblance between the Walker scheme and the series of measures put forth by President Obama as the Governor’s proposal involves reoccupying foreclosed and vacant properties while making loans and venture capital money available to small businesses and industrial developers.
Of course, Scott Walker had been a vocal opponent of such proposals when uttered by the President.
Continue reading here…
If Scott Walker uses the Foreclosure Settlement that the Obama Administration negotiated with the banks, to by-pass those homeowners who qualify for that money, so that he can balance his budget, Walker may have just sealed his fate in the upcoming re-call election…
Yesterday, 49 states joined the federal government in announcing a $26 billion settlement with five of the nation’s biggest banks over the banks’ foreclosure fraud abuses. The money from the settlement is meant to aid homeowners who lost their homes to foreclosure or who find themselves underwater, meaning they owe more on their mortgage than their home is currently worth.
However, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) — whose high profile assault on workers’ rights has prompted a recall effort against him — isn’t planning to use the money to help homeowners. Under the terms of the settlement, Wisconsin is set to receive $140 million, $31.6 million of which comes directly to the state government. And Walker is planning to use $25.6 million of that money to help balance his state’s budget:
Of a $31.6 million payment coming directly to the state government, most of that money – $25.6 million – will go to help close a budget shortfall revealed in newly released state projections. [Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen], whose office said he has the legal authority over the money, made the decision in consultation with Walker.
“Just like communities and individuals have been affected, the foreclosure crisis has had an effect on the state of Wisconsin, in terms of unemployment. … This will offset that damage done to the state of Wisconsin,” Walker said.
A memo from Wisconsin’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau released yesterday notes “it is anticipated that Wisconsin will receive $31.6 million. Based on discussions between the Attorney General and the administration, of the amounts received by the state, $25.6 million will be deposited to the general fund as GPR-Earned in 2011-12, and the remaining $6 million will be retained by the Department of Justice to be allocated at a later date.”
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) criticized Walker’s move, saying “not one dime [of the settlement] should be used to fund the unbalanced state budget.” Adding insult to injury, Walker has previously criticized using one-time settlement money to fill budget holes.
The settlement money already doesn’t come close to addressing the depths of the nation’s housing problem, though it will provide real relief to the people whom it does reach. But the money was certainly not intended to paper over state budget problems, particularly in a state whose governor assured everybody up and down that busting his state’s public unions was the key to fiscal solvency. (HT: Jessica Arp)
The above quote is attributed to President Harry Truman. I saw it in an article on Keith Olbermann’s blog and thought it was an apropos headline for the topic…
[…] our winner, the increasingly hapless Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, who has now reportedly gone into the office remodeling business.
There are two accounts of why workers were seen altering windows at the Capitol in Madison this morning. The first is that many of the windows in the building’s public space have been damaged by protesters and the “locking mechanisms” are being repaired. An alternate view originates at the AFL-CIO blog which insists those aren’t repairs, they’re welds or bolts designed to make it impossible to pass food or other supplies from outside the Capitol through the windows into the hands of those who have made this protest the most effective American political sit-in in decades, maybe since Vietnam.
Either story could be true – Hell, they both could. Independent reporting seems to be too scarce yet to be decisive. (Update: pay no attention to this photo of the bolted window frame, with the head sawed off, courtesy of Tweeter @weezmgk)
But Governor Walker (and I hate to insult Paul, but, are you with me on this? Paul F. Tompkins to play him in the movie?) still wins this contest because new polling suggests that if last November’s election were held anew today, the state would reject the ham-handed Koch-head and elect Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. The interior number of the biggest note: 3% of Republicans surveyed said they had voted for Barrett instead of Walker. Now 10% of Republicans say they would cross party lines. Support for Barrett over Walker in families with union members was only 14% last year; it would be 31% now.
In short, Governor Walker has managed to chase a lot of union members out of the Republican Party. This is the unintended silver lining of awakening, which can be summed up by a line attributed to Harry Truman during the 1948 Presidential Election: “How many times do you have to get hit over the head before you figure out who’s hitting you?”