Perhaps one of the best stories this year was Scott Walker’s victory in his recall election. That election was prompted by Wisconsin passing a law that limited collective bargaining for some public-sector unions (most government employees, minus police and firefighters) and forced them to contribute more to their pensions.
Naturally, public unions threw a hissy fit at the thought that they would have to pay for their own benefits rather than forcing other people to pay for them—you know, government-backed robbery. They forced the recall election, but lost badly, and in the end it was perceived as a major blow to labor unions around the country. Not only did it deplete the Wisconsin unions’ coffers, it also damaged their image as a credible threat, and gave strength to more governors to fix their awful state budgets.
In retrospect, though, perhaps the big winner was Lawrence O’Donnell. Immediately after the results came in, O’Donnell proclaimed that the winner of the Wisconsin recall election was, bizarrely, Barack Obama. I derided him at the time, yet it turned out he was correct: Obama went on to win the 2012 presidential election, and took Wisconsin by 52% to Romney’s 46%.
Despite that, though, Walker’s recall victory was a major victory for free market advocates and libertarians everywhere. Let’s hope we can continue the fight under Obama’s second term.
With nearly 100% of the precincts reporting this morning, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has survived the recall challenge, which engineered by Big Labor and state Democrats, against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett by a healthy margin.
- Walker (R): 53.2
- Barrett (D): 46.3%
- Trivedi (I): 0.6%
Some are saying that the race, given that Walker won by nearly 7 points, could put the state on the board this fall in the presidential election. There is certainly a measure of optimism for Republicans since this recall had such heavy implications. However, Republicans should be too hopeful since exit polling showed President Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney by 9 points.
The New York Times notes that, while outside spending was heavy in Wisconsin during the course of the race, nine out of every 10 voters had their minds made up by May 1st. Money is great if its on your side, but at some point voters probably started turning off their televisions because they were tired of seeing the flood of ads.
No state is perfect, but Montana seems intent on trying anyways. Their most recent attempt is a move to recall Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester for their support of the tyrannical National Defense Authorization Act which, for those who’ve been living under a rock, essentially turns the entire United States into a war zone for the purposes of pursuing “terrorists” and permits the indefinite detention of American citizens on U.S. soil.
(HELENA) - Moving quickly on Christmas Day after the US Senate voted 86 - 14 to pass the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA) which allows for the indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial, Montanans have announced the launch of recall campaigns against Senators Max Baucus and Jonathan Tester, who voted for the bill.
Montana is one of nine states with provisions that say that the right of recall extends to recalling members of its federal congressional delegation, pursuant to Montana Code 2-16-603, on the grounds of physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of oath of office, official misconduct, or conviction of certain felony offenses.
The Salem News goes on to state that the issue of a state’s ability to recall federal officials has never reached the federal courts. In reality, I suspect that the federal courts would strike down such a law as unconstitutional primarily because it would actually give states the ability to actually do something when the federal government oversteps its power, somthing that the courts seem intent on keeping as the status quo.
Within moments of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker being declared the winner of the recall election against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, labor unions, commentators and other talking heads started railing against money in politics. Take, for example, the theatrics of the guy interviewed on CNN, who insisted that “democracy died” on Tuesday because of the infusion of money — some $63 million — into the state to promote or tear down candidates in the race:
Yes, your tears please me. But seriously, this guy could not be more wrong. The Washington Post noted yesterday that outside spending didn’t influence many voters, pointing to exit polling that showed that 88% of voters had their minds made up before May 1st. In other words, as Cato’s John Samples notes, “[b]y the time the ads hit the airwaves, there were few undecided voters.”
All the cards are on the table today in Wisconsin as voters head to the polls, after millions of dollars in ads and endless canvassing by activists from both sides, to cast their ballot in the recall election between Gov. Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
The recall, initiated as a response to reforms to the collective bargaining agreements with public-sector unions, has been somewhat of a headache for Wisconsin Democrats and labor unions. They’ve received little to no help from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Governors Association (DGA). And as a result of Walker’s reforms, labor unions have seen a sharp decrease in membership.
Democrats have been managing expectations in the race, indicating that they saw the writing on the wall that Walker would win, but a new poll from Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm that does polling for the Daily Kos, shows that the race may be closer than previously thought:
A Public Policy Polling survey released Monday shows Walker with the support of 50 percent of likely voters, ahead of Milwaukee Mayor Barrett at 47 percent.
But Walker’s support is down from a 50-to-45 percent edge in the same poll conducted three weeks ago and down from the 7-point 52-45 lead Walker held in a Marquette Law poll released last week.
Democrats in Wisconsin are upset that the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association aren’t sending money up to their state to defeat Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), who has been targeted after proposing perfectly reasonable changes to the state’s collective bargaining laws, in the upcoming recall election. Greg Sargent notes:
Top Wisconsin Democrats are furious with the national party — and the Democratic National Committee in particular — for refusing their request for a major investment in the battle to recall Scott Walker, I’m told.
The failure to put up the money Wisconsin Dems need to execute their recall plan comes at a time when the national Republican Party is sinking big money into defending Walker, raising fears that the DNC’s reluctance could help tip the race his way.
“We are frustrated by the lack of support from the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association,” a top Wisconsin Democratic Party official tells me. “Scott Walker has the full support and backing of the Republican Party and all its tentacles. We are not getting similar support.”
“Considering that Scott Walker has already spent $30 million and we’re even in the polls, this is a winnable race,” the Wisconsin Dem continues. “We can get outspent two to one or five to one. We can’t get spent 20 to one.”
This may cause one to scratch their head, but the most recent poll out of Wisconsin shows that Walker has a nine point lead over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett with just a few weeks to go until the election:
If you listen to Big Labor, they say that they have Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker cornered. After some needed reforms to the state’s collective bargaining laws, they launched a successful recall effort against him as payback. But the reality is that they are struggling mightly.
On Tuesday, Big Labor’s favored candidate, Kathleen Falk, lost to Tom Barrett, a former Mayor of Milwaukee who lost to Walker in 2010. To make matters worse for them, Walker managed the biggest turnout in Wisconsin in 60 years. And this, folks, is a special election, not a general primary.
Moreover, Rasmussen Reports shows that Walker is leading Barrett, who Big Labor will no doubt get behind, just a few weeks against of the recall matchup:
A new Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey shows that 50% of the state’s Likely Voters prefer Walker while 45% choose Barrett. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate and another two percent (2%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
It appears the above image is some sort of joke; the host’s name is “Patriot” spelled backwards. They’ve also pulled it from the website, so this is the only image of it. What I don’t know yet is if it was a right-wing hack sort of joke, or a left-wing “haha wink wink nudge nudge” sort of joke.
If this is some sort of hack by conservative, right-wing, or Republican activists, shame on them. Lowering yourself to Saul Alinsky’s levels just degrades you. If it’s a wink-wink nudge-nudge, then that’s just stupid.
If this isn’t, if this was actually something more, then there are some serious shenanigans going on, something that Democratic Party leaders need to take a look at right now. Pulling names off of cemetary headstones to add to a recall petition is so blatantly anti-democratic I don’t even know how to describe it.
It is possible that there is no approval process for events, where anyone can just enter in an event…but if that’s the case, then the Democrats really need to change that. Grassroots activity is okay, but it needs to be kept under control. Otherwise, you have it appear that the Party organization is officially sanctioning illegal activities. Then you get people like me blogging about it, and that just never looks good.
Still, awesome fodder for the Internet.