The never, ever, ever, ever, ever ending voting, re-voting and re-re-voting continues apace here behind the cheddar curtain. A small update below the fold if you are interested.
The headlines up here concern the recall primary, scheduled for May 8. There are two candidates that are vying to try to unseat Walker. Kathleen Falk, who has already pledged her allegiance to the unions, and Tom Barrett, mayor of Milwaukee.
The Walker camp, I think, has it easy with either candidate. The union issue really doesn’t get too much traction anymore and even the Dems are careful in using it. I think the general populus understands that the govt. unions had to take a slight paycut (ahem) in these tough times. If Falk is the nominee, Walker can pigeon hole her into a pro union corner and make the case that she would undo all of the successful reforms. Barrett, as mayor of Milwaukee, has had nasty ads sponsored by AFSCME run against him – later AFSCME said it went too far, but that damage is done. Barrett himself has used Walker’s reforms to help balance the budget in Milwaukee. Walker can, of course, use this against Barrett if he is faced in the general. As an aside, I deal with guys in the trade unions every day and they have very little sympathy for the government and teachers unions.
Intrade, as of this writing, has Walker at 62% and that has been inching up as of late. Walker has an enormous war chest as there is no limit to campaign contributions in a recall election up here.
June 5 is the general recall election.
Meanwhile, in the senate, there are scads of recall elections all over the state and both parties are running fake candidates in primaries to try to limit crossover. Wisconsin is an open primary state (thanks to Bob LaFollette partially) so you can vote for either party – but not both.
The insanity, I believe, reached its nadir when the Republicans launched recall campaigns against Democratic senators from the northern parts of Wisconsin for vetoing a bill that would have altered DNR restrictions on mining, and perhaps allowing a mine to open in Crandon and bringing many jobs to that area. A recall for policy, just like all the others.
The reasons for recall MUST be addressed or this nonsense will go on forever, just as I predicted. To me, if there isn’t a major crime involved (I am not talking speeding tickets here), there should be no recalls. Businesses such as mine are stuck in the middle, trying to figure out what tax policy will be – not to mention that businesses that are possibly looking at Wisconsin will be discouraged to move here.
11 thoughts on “Wisconsin Status Update”
WI is the battleground for unions – it is do or die for them. If they fail, and the obvious benefits of Walker’s changes are becoming apparent, then the writing is on the wall.
In CA the unions have had a stranglehold since Jerry brown allowed them in during the 70s. They have a symbiotic relationship with the majority Dems.
Burt as more productive people leave – leaving the takers – it will be harder and harder to support this massive govt entity – I read there are over 5,000 bureaucracies.
Then there will be WI – becoming more prosperous – as a beacon for the country.
That is they the unions are putting so much into it.
Having worked for local gov’t in Chicago and CA for a many years, I can speak to the bloat and inefficiency.
They knew full well the kind of people they were working for, and knew what they gave up to do their bidding. They got them elected so they could get the spoils.
Spare no tears if state and local employees lose their pensions. They got money for nothing for many years.
Even if the Donks take the state senate (which I predict), it is all about Walker. If he wins, it is over for the govt. unions – and the Democrats will take a massive hit when their automatic union government deduction money laundering machine starts to get shut off all across the country.
You have offered a good summary of the situation. I live in the Northern part of the state and work in Crandon. The mining issue has done damage to the Democrats in this part of the state. The current Democratic incumbent senator, who survived a recall, has announced he will not seek re-election. I think the mining debacle may have been a contributing factor as it clearly illustrated that not all unions are created equal as far as the WI Democratic Party. Defeating Walker and restoring “public union” power is the singular goal of the leadership. It is interesting that my liberal friends are trying so hard to cast Walker as the evil puppet of the greedy Koch brothers (as a proxy for all evil rich corporations and people), however, they keep getting undermined by the public employee union leadership who’s greed and narrow self interest is so transparent.
That said, I worry that they may prevail in the June recall. We cannot underestimate their ability to get their side to vote. They are full time professionals and we are part time amateurs with full time day jobs. Election fatigue and a June election will be an advantage to their side.
“That said, I worry that they may prevail in the June recall. We cannot underestimate their ability to get their side to vote. They are full time professionals and we are part time amateurs with full time day jobs. Election fatigue and a June election will be an advantage to their side.” Good point. It certainly isn’t in the bag by any means.
One other thing I forgot to mention is that even if the Dems get control of the senate it does them pretty much nothing as the legislative business is done for the year. The senators get to campaign once again this fall!
First item in WI for 2013 should be a state constitution amendment changing the rules for recall elections.
@Lex – absolutely.
There’s no recall elections here in Illinois.
We are just quietly going broke.
Recently the teacher’s pension fund came out with an opinion that if the state doesn’t fund them they will be insolvent relatively soon. This is pretty unprecedented in my opinion.
Can you explain the process. In California they had one vote on one day. Is Wisconsin having a separate primary and then a recall election?
Robert – yes. May 8 is the recall primary.
Wisconsin is an open primary state so you can vote in any parties primary, but only one. There was a fake democrat that was going to run in the Republican primary against Walker to try to force no Republican crossover to the Democratic primary, but I am not sure that he got enough signatures to get on the ballot. Earlier there was talk of a massive write in campaign for Walker on the Democrat primary, but that fizzled, sadly.
I vote absentee all the time so I will know soon what is the deal as my ballot is on the way. In Wisconsin you don’t have to actually be “absent” to vote absentee and I don’t like standing in lines so I do it that way. Yes, there is more of a chance that a clerk can just shred my ballot after I mail it in, but I hope that isn’t the case. The general “re” election (the call it a recall election) is June 5.
It is driving me nuts at home. We get at least 5-10 calls a night from political organizations for all sorts of bullshit (they are exempt from no call lists) and we just had the presidential primary ads and now the TV and local radio is full of recall and partisan primary ads (we have a US Senate race here as well as local US Congresscritter).
THEN we have the standard partisan primaries August 14, which is the for the general election on Nov. 6. So we start all over again.
Like Lex said, the first legislative order of business in 2013 (Wisco is done for this year) needs to be fixing the recall process here.
@Carl – no worries there. They will simply cram down the younger teachers. It is how most of those union issues get solved.
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