One Million Wisconsinites: Recall Gov. Walker

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One Million Wisconsinites: Recall Gov. Walker

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One Million Wisconsinites: Recall Gov. Walker

Uprising has 'potential to rock the politics not just of the state but of the nation in 2012'

Agencies are reporting that organizers of the effort to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker have submitted more than one million signatures, far beyond the number needed to force a recall election.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: It would mark the first such gubernatorial recall in state history and would be only the third gubernatorial recall election in U.S. history. Organizers Tuesday also handed in 845,000 signatures against Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch as well as petitions against four GOP state senators including Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau.

The sheer number of signatures being filed against Walker - nearly as many as the total votes cast for the governor in November 2010 and almost twice as many as those needed to trigger a recall election - ensure the election will be held, said officials with the state Democratic Party and United Wisconsin, the group that launched the Walker recall.

"It is beyond legal challenge," said Ryan Lawler, vice chairman of United Wisconsin....

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/01/17-6

Slumberjack

Oddly enough, in this the Wisconsonites appear to enjoy more democracy than we do.  We're stuck with our current village idiot until at least the next one manages to make a convincing enough showing of it.

josh

I'm not wild about this move.  Putting aside that I have a philosophical problem with the recall concept, if Walker wins the recall election, which he's probably even money to do, he will be stronger than ever.  And it will make it that much harder to oust him in 2014.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

What Wisconsin Will Recall

In the year since the uprising against Governor Scott Walker’s attacks on public unions, employees, and services, the outrage of Wisconsin’s citizens has been compressed into a single word: recall. But some are discussing what next, if the recalls are successful. Will they be enough to take Wisconsin forward?

While spring bursts into Wisconsin, things look bleak for Walker. After investigations of illegal activity in his administration during his 2002-2008 service as Milwaukee county executive, including 15 felony charges against former staff, Walker has opened a legal defense fund in his name, something elected officials may do only if they are being investigated for a violation of law. While the specifics of the “John Doe” case are not yet public, Walker’s opening of the defense fund suggests he is implicated in the charges.

quote

To Endorse, or Not

One union, the Teaching Assistants’ Association, Local 3220 AFT at the University of Wisconsin, is hotly debating this question. At TAA’s last membership meeting, February 23, members voted to adopt a set of criteria necessary to endorse a recall candidate. TAA would not endorse any candidate who doesn’t state an intent to repeal all of Act 10—which would mean not only reinstating collective bargaining rights but also restoring cuts to wages and benefits (about a 9 percent pay cut) and cuts to public services. These cuts include removing 53,000 people from BadgerCare, the state health care program, and $1.6 billion in cuts to public education....

http://labornotes.org/2012/03/what-wisconsin-will-recall

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Divided Wis. unions could spell win for Scott Walker

quote:

This is the drama unfolding at the Teaching Assistants Association, which represents graduate students and project assistants from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. No union is more identified with the anti-Walker mobilization. Days after he introduced his bill to gut collective bargaining, TAA members showed up at the state capitol, sleeping bags in hand, and kicked off what became a 16-day occupation. That emboldened Democratic senators to flee the state to deny Walker a quorum – bringing national media attention to the controversy.

Now a month before the May 8 primary, two Democrats, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, are neck-and-neck at the front of the pack. And TAA members are split on what to do about it.

At issue is whether the union should support a candidate who hasn’t pledged to restore cuts to public workers’ wages and benefits — one of the criteria the TAA originally listed as a a prerequisite for an endorsement. Falk, who entered the race in January, is the only candidate who has pledged to veto any budget that doesn’t restore collective bargaining rights. But she also frequently touts the $10 million in concessions that she secured in negotiations with local unions as county executive. Barrett, who entered the race Friday, is more problematic when it comes to cuts: Last year, as the debate over collective bargaining raged, he told a conservative radio host that he opposed Walker’s collective bargaining changes but supported his proposed cuts.....

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/05/divided_wisc_unions_could_spell_win_for_...

NorthReport


Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch speaks at a rally held by the Racine Tea Party PAC in Gorney Park in Caledonia, Wis. near Racine on Saturday, June 2, 2012. The rally was held in opposition to the Tuesday, June 5, recall election in which Democratic opponents are running against incumbents Gov. Scott Walker, Kleefisch and state Sen. Van Wanggaard of Racine. (AP Photo/Mark Hertzberg)

Wisconsin: Kleefisch is first lieutenant governor to face recall

 

 

http://www.twincities.com/allheadlines/ci_20783124/kleefisch-hoping-keep...

Sven Sven's picture

He's what's interesting about this recall to me: The whole catalyst for the recall was Walker's draconian restrictions on collective bargaining rights for public-sector unions (after that legislation passed, over the protests of tens of thousands of people at the state capitol, the unions when into action to collect enough petition signatures to trigger a recall vote).  But, in the actual campaign, there is very little discussion of that core issue because Barrett has learned that the average voter actually either supports Walker on that issue or is ambivalent.  So, the key issue that sparked this recall has been made a sideline issue, at best, and I think that has taken some of the fervor out of the anti-Walker movement.

Living in Minnesota on the Wisconsin border, I'm inundated with information in the local and state media regarding this race.  One thing that is interesting is the massive financial advantage that Walker has (as of a few weeks ago, Walker had raised about $25 million to Barrett's $900,000).  The unions are claiming that it's just "big money" supporting Walker.  But, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel analyzed the number of contributions to each campaign and the average campaign contribution to both candidates was about $120 (the average contribution was actually slightly higher for Barrett than for Walker).  So, really, for every contribution to Barrett, there were about 25 contributions to Walker.  That says to me that it's not so much about "big money" supporting Walker as the fact that, ironically, his supporters are far more engaged in this election that Barrett's supporters.

I think Walker probably has this in the bag.  Besides, even if he were to lose, reversing the policy changes that he implemented will be next-to-impossible.  One of the effects of Walker's policy is that union membership has dropped in half for many of the public-sector unions.  Why?  Because the automatic collection of union dues from paychecks was changed from an opt-out election to an opt-in election.  In other words, previously, if an employee didn't want union dues taken from the paycheques, the employee had to affirmatively opt-out of the program.  Now, an employee has to take the affirmative step to opt-in to having the deductions taken (and they have to do that every year).  This has gutted the union finances because employees are thinking: "Well, because my union can no longer collectivley bargain on my behalf, what's the point in paying union dues?"  Walker has effectively cut off the life blood of the unions.

Slumberjack

Wisconson isn't the only jurisdiction where citizens seem to prefer engaging in a race toward the bottom.  God speed with all of that, and power to the people too.  Hand to mouth existence in return for one's labour pretty much sums up the one demand from market forces everywhere.  Wisconsonites are about to prove that they don't expect special treatment in that regard above that of the rest of their fellow Americans, and that they have all the worker solidarity one might expect nowadays thank you very much, just as they're told.

NorthReport

Any exit polls?

NorthReport

R-Day in Wisconsin today.

Where's Obama?

Wisconsin holds recall more than a year in making

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/wisconsin-holds-recall-more-th...

NorthReport

So the president has stayed away because the recall campaign will fail - now that's political leadership.

Wisconsin's deep political anger isn't going away

http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/05/opinion/borsuk-wisconsin-vote/index.html

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CNN just had a piece on the tens of millions of dollars going into Wisconsin from outside to sway a very small number of 'undecided' voters. The Kochs, Texas' Bob Perry, the usual suspects. Unions - both inside and outside the state - have a big campaign as well.

NorthReport

if they took all the money they spend on the campaign and just gave it to the people who need it the most....... it would solve some problems.  

ygtbk

So far looks like Walker is taking it - but early days yet:

http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/2012/wisconsin-recall-results#graph

Sven Sven's picture

ygtbk wrote:

So far looks like Walker is taking it - but early days yet:

http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/2012/wisconsin-recall-results#graph

Looks like HuffPo is calling it for Walker already...

ygtbk

Sven wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

So far looks like Walker is taking it - but early days yet:

http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/2012/wisconsin-recall-results#graph

Looks like HuffPo is calling it for Walker already...

True, but with only 30% of polls reporting, it's not clear (to me, YMMV).

Sven Sven's picture

Now, 42% of precincts have reported and Walker leads 60% to 40%...

Sven Sven's picture

My guess is that Walker's final margin will be a bit over 10%...

Sven Sven's picture

Almost 50% of votes have been counted now: 58% to 41%...it's over. 

Sven Sven's picture

That map on the HuffPo site is interesting.  It gives county-by-county results and, in almost every county I checked, Walker is actually doing better in this recall election against Barrett than he did against Barrett in the regular election in 2010.  Will be interesting to see if that hold when all of the ballots have been counted.

ygtbk

Sven wrote:

That map on the HuffPo site is interesting.  It gives county-by-county results and, in almost every county I checked, Walker is actually doing better in this recall election against Barrett than he did against Barrett in the regular election in 2010.  Will be interesting to see if that hold when all of the ballots have been counted.

It does seem true that to a first approximation, Walker is doing no worse anywhere, and somewhat better in many places.

Aristotleded24

Is there any reason why the Democrats went with the same guy who lost to Walker last time instead of Russ Feingold?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Can barely contain your glee, eh?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

La di da...

wage zombie

Photo taken in Wisconsin today by Jesse LaGreca

Sven Sven's picture

"Pro-Death" -- that's funny.  

Speaking of death, this feller seems to have forgotten "Pro Capital Punishment" on the left side of this little ledger. 

josh

josh wrote:

I'm not wild about this move.  Putting aside that I have a philosophical problem with the recall concept, if Walker wins the recall election, which he's probably even money to do, he will be stronger than ever.  And it will make it that much harder to oust him in 2014.

My fears were justified. It was shortsighted. Some people voted for Walker just because they didn't like the concept of recalling a governor based on policy idfferences. And it gave the right a victory they need not have gotten.

josh

Sven wrote:

My guess is that Walker's final margin will be a bit over 10%...

He won by 7. In 2010, he won by 6. The final exit poll indicated that 18% of the people who voted for Walker would vote for Obama. And that among those who voted, Obama outpointed Romney 51-44.

josh

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Is there any reason why the Democrats went with the same guy who lost to Walker last time instead of Russ Feingold?

Yeah, Feingold declined to run. And Barrett won the primary.

Bärlüer

Don't forget that Walker is under federal investigation—again (this time for conduct during his time as governor rather than as Milwaukee county executive). Who knows what that might lead to...

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Canada Bracing for Massive Influx of Wisconsin Boat People « Borowitz Report www.borowitzreport.com

 

OTTAWA (The Borowitz Report) - The Canadian coast guard was on alert today, preparing for what it fears could be a massive invasion of boat people from Wisconsin.

abnormal

josh wrote:

josh wrote:

I'm not wild about this move.  Putting aside that I have a philosophical problem with the recall concept, if Walker wins the recall election, which he's probably even money to do, he will be stronger than ever.  And it will make it that much harder to oust him in 2014.

My fears were justified. It was shortsighted. Some people voted for Walker just because they didn't like the concept of recalling a governor based on policy idfferences. And it gave the right a victory they need not have gotten.

Before the election, the media stated numerous times, "THIS ELECTION IS THE BELL WEATHER FOR NOVEMBER". After the election, "THIS ELECTION WAS MERELY A STATE ELECTION. NOTHING TO SEE HERE."

 

Sven Sven's picture
Fidel

al-Qa'bong posted this one over at enmasse 

source: commondreams.org

onlinediscountanvils

[url=http://workerscompass.org/2012/06/09/learning-from-wisconsin/]Learning from Wisconsin[/url]

Quote:

While Walker’s supporters are gloating in the belief that the recall results confirm they have turned the tide against such developments as the Wisconsin uprising, they are celebrating too soon. The defeat of the recall was a rejection of relying on the Democratic Party. It was not a rejection of grass roots struggles against austerity, which are inevitable as the conditions of the Great Recession grind on for workers. We can only rely on our own collective power through mass action to resist this and further bi-partisan attacks lurking just around the corner. If Labor is to take the lead, the union leadership must start building the necessary unity to flood the streets for good jobs and social services – not cuts.

abnormal

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

[url=http://workerscompass.org/2012/06/09/learning-from-wisconsin/]Learning from Wisconsin[/url]

Quote:

While Walker’s supporters are gloating in the belief that the recall results confirm they have turned the tide against such developments as the Wisconsin uprising, they are celebrating too soon. The defeat of the recall was a rejection of relying on the Democratic Party. It was not a rejection of grass roots struggles against austerity, which are inevitable as the conditions of the Great Recession grind on for workers. We can only rely on our own collective power through mass action to resist this and further bi-partisan attacks lurking just around the corner. If Labor is to take the lead, the union leadership must start building the necessary unity to flood the streets for good jobs and social services – not cuts.

In other words:

abnormal wrote:
Before the election, the media stated numerous times, "THIS ELECTION IS THE BELL WEATHER FOR NOVEMBER". After the election, "THIS ELECTION WAS MERELY A STATE ELECTION. NOTHING TO SEE HERE."

 

onlinediscountanvils

abnormal wrote:

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

[url=http://workerscompass.org/2012/06/09/learning-from-wisconsin/]Learning from Wisconsin[/url]

In other words:

abnormal wrote:
Before the election, the media stated numerous times, "THIS ELECTION IS THE BELL WEATHER FOR NOVEMBER". After the election, "THIS ELECTION WAS MERELY A STATE ELECTION. NOTHING TO SEE HERE."

 

Well, yes, those are other words, although IMO, they're not words that summarize the article I posted.

Aristotleded24

[url=http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/07/01-1]Why did labour lose Wisconsin?[/url]

Quote:
In the wake of the Wisconsin defeat, there has been far too little concrete criticism of why organized labor lost. The analysis pushed by unions has relied on claiming that Walker outspent his opponent by a margin of 8-to-1. However, the great champion of labor, Paul Wellstone, was outspent 7-to-1 in his first election for Senate right next door in Minnesota, and he still managed to beat an incumbent senator. Strong, organized labor candidates have always been outspent, but they are able to win by harnessing people power the way Wellstone did.

...

Quite simply, union leaders have just not invested their members with that much people power—before or after the Wisconsin recall. In February 2011, two union leaders—Marty Beil, one of AFSCME Wisconsin’s Executive Directors, and Mary Bell of the Wisconsin Education Association Council—agreed to across the board wage cuts averaging $4,400 a year for their members. They did so without even taking a vote from their members. You can argue that agreeing to the concessions was a smart strategic move to win public support for collective bargaining rights, but shouldn’t unions let their own members make that decision? How do unions distinguish themselves from corporate America if they don’t allow their own members to even vote on whether or not to accept a $4,400 wage cut?

Once Walker’s bill passed and the drastic wage cuts went into effect, the avenues of protest for union supporters were limited. And by failing to show that they would fight for workers in their day-to-day struggles through direct action, unions lost not just public support, but support from their own membership. After Walker’s anti-union bill went into effect outlawing automatic collection of dues, the majority of AFSCME’s members in Wisconsin chose to leave their union. Membership in AFSCME declined from 62,818 in March 2011 to less than half of that —just 28,745 in February of 2012. A majority of AFSCME members decided not to renew their membership in AFSCME—not exactly a vote of confidence for the union.

In right-to-work states where members can opt out of unions anytime, like public employees can do now in Wisconsin, unions have to maintain their organizational and financial strength through strong, non-stop internal organizing drives, encouragement of collective action on the job and the development of rank-and-file leadership that's very sensitive to the concerns of members. Had AFSCME engaged in a strategy of direct action in the workplace, similar in spirit to the capitol occupation, things might have gone differently.

...

But the United Electrical Workers (UE), which caps its leaders salaries at $56,000 and does not typically endorse Democrats, is indeed growing in states where collective bargaining for public employees is outlawed— states with Democratic governors like West Virginia and North Carolina. On the other hand, AFSCME, who reportedly pledged to spend $100 million to re-elect Obama and whose outgoing president Gerry McEntee made a salary of $387,000 (nearly seven times that of UE’s president), has lost union members in those same states, according to UE Political Action Director Chris Townsend.

As AFSCME has seen its ranks dwindle in West Virginia, UE has become the biggest public-sector union in the state. Despite lacking collective bargaining rights in West Virginia, UE has been able to win small wage increases and grievances for its members by providing very intensive education to a network of shop stewards who then train their own union members in how to be militants.

Instead of building a rank-and-file system of strong shop stewards who could mobilize their members, AFSCME chose to continue giving money to the Democrats in West Virginia in the hope that these Democrats will come to their rescue. AFSCME continues to give to them despite the fact that the Democrats have controlled both the governor’s house and the state legislature for the last twelve years, but refuse to grant collective bargaining rights to public employees in West Virginia. In the past, AFSCME has also given money to Democratic Governors in Virginia and North Carolina who also refused to grant collective bargaining rights. AFSCME saw their union ranks dwindle while the shop-floor-oriented UE surpassed AFSCME’s membership in those states, according to Townsend.

josh

Prosecutors allege that Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of an effort to illegally coordinate fundraising among conservative groups to help his campaign and those of Republican senators fend off recall elections during 2011 and '12, according to documents unsealed Thursday. In the documents, prosecutors lay out what they call a "criminal scheme" to bypass state election laws by Walker, his campaign and two top deputies — R.J. Johnson and Deborah Jordahl. The governor and his close confidants helped raise money and control spending through 12 conservative groups during the recall elections, according to the prosecutors' filings.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/federal-judge-unseals-hundred...