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.
Staring down a recall effort launched by Second Amendment advocates because of her support for onerous gun control regulations passed earlier this year, state Sen. Evie Hudak (D-Westminister) decided to resign rather than face what ostensibly would have been a referendum on her anti-gun record.
“One year ago, on the day before Thanksgiving 2012, I was informed that all the ballots had been counted and I had won reelection to the State Senate with 35,664 votes,” wrote Hudak in a letter posted on her campaign website. “I was thankful for the opportunity to spend the next four years of my life serving Colorado and fighting for middle-class jobs, high-quality educational opportunities, and public safety.
“However, now on the day before Thanksgiving 2013, in the interest of preserving the progress made over the last year, I am resigning as State Senator for District 19, effective immediately,” she declared.
Hudak defended economic legislation passed by the Colorado General Assembly. She also defended the anti-gun law she voted for in March. She also said that “[b]y resigning, [she is] making sure that Jefferson County taxpayers aren’t forced to pay more than $200,000 for a special election,” citing spending cuts that have been made by that local government.
Gun rights groups hailed the news, claiming Hudak’s resignation as a victory and a sign of things to come next year.
It’s not exactly a secret that Arnold Schwarzenegger — the actor turned Governor of California turned actor, once again — has presidential ambitions. But there has always been one small detail standing in his way. Schwarzenegger was born in Austria to foreign parents and is a naturalized citizen.
The Constitution prohibits anyone not born in the United States from holding the office of President (Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 — and yes, President Obama is a natural-born citizen, as is Ted Cruz). Schwarzenegger, however, is lobbying for a change to the law, according to Page Six, which would allow to him to mount a run for the White House:
Action star and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been lobbying for support to change the law to allow him to run for president in 2016, Page Six has exclusively learned.
We’re told Ahnold has been openly talking about his political ambitions while in New York to promote his new movie with Sylvester Stallone, “Escape Plan.”
One source said: “Schwarzenegger has been talking openly about working on getting the constitutional rules changed so he can run for president in 2016. He is ready to file legal paperwork to challenge the rules.”
Arnie was born in Austria, and the US Constitution prevents foreign-born citizens from holding the nation’s top job. Any amendment to the Constitution must be approved by two-thirds majority in the House and the Senate.
Nearly a month after successfully recalling two anti-gun state senators, Colorado gun rights activists are planning a recall campaign against State Sen. Evie Hudak, a Democrat who voted for new onerous gun control measures passed earlier this year by the state legislature:
A renewed and spirited effort is now underway to recall Sen. Evie Hudak, a Democrat from Westminster, less than six months after an initial effort faltered.
Organizers from within Senate District 19 were certified by the Secretary of State late Friday to begin gathering signatures to have a recall placed on the ballot. The group, “Recall Hudak, too,” must gather about 18,900 valid signatures within a 60-day time frame, and on its website the group even has a running ticker that counts down to the deadline.
“She has infringed upon our constitutional right to keep and bear arms. She has voted to make all citizens less safe and to drive hundreds of jobs from Colorado,” reads an excerpt of the petition language e-mailed by Mike McAlpine, a spokesman for the group.
Anti-gun politics are bad for electoral health. That’s a lesson two Colorado Democrats learned on Tuesday night.
Colorado Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and State Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) were recalled by voters in their respective districts in what was considered to be a referendum on onerous new gun control regulations passed by the legislature earlier this year.
Both pro-Second Amendment and anti-gun groups invested heavily in the race. The Denver Post noted earlier this week that anti-gun groups raised some $3.5 million to help the two Democrats, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s $350,000 contribution. Pro-gun groups raised $540,000.
Despite the heavy spending from anti-gun groups, voters in Colorado’s 3rd State Senate district recalled Giron, 56/44, and elected George Rivera, a Republican, to take her place in the legislature’s upper chamber.
Morse, the highest ranking official in the Colorado Senate, faced the same fate in the 11th District, though by a smaller margin, at 51/49. Bernie Herpin, also a Republican, was elected to fill the reminder of the term.
Although he wasn’t on the ballot anywhere last night, Michael Bloomberg, outgoing mayor of New York, anti-gun nut, “No Labels” doublespeaker, and everyone’s favorite Nanny-in-Chief, was handed several stinging defeats from his backyard in New York to the mountain west.
In the most direct challenge, Bill de Blasio, Democrat candidate for mayor in New York City, won a clear plurality and avoided a runoff with the #2 Democrat candidate, Bill Thompson. De Blasio ran as an outspoken “progressive alternative to the Bloomberg era.”
In the Republican primary, Bloomberg’s preferred candidate, Joe Lhota, did manage to win a majority and so also avoid a runoff. However, Lhota’s vote total (29,746 at this writing) was lower than that of the #5 Democrat candidate, Anthony Weiner (31,136 votes). In fact, the total vote in the Democrat primary (634,476) was eleven times larger than that of the Republican primary (56,584). If the general election runs anywhere close to these numbers, de Blasio will win in a landslide. A progressive Democrat becoming mayor of New York is certainly no victory for liberty, but it’s no victory for Bloombergism either.
Gun rights supporters and groups have organized a recall campaign against Colorado Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and State Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) for their support of the gun control measures in what the Washington Post calls a “referendum on guns”:
In the wake of mass shootings in suburban Denver and Newtown, Conn., last year, Colorado became one of the few states to pass new gun control legislation. Now, the architects of that legislation face recall elections that have become proxy wars for conservatives angry about the new gun rules, among other liberal initiatives the Democratic-controlled state legislature passed earlier this year.
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.”