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A Million Wisconsinites Petition to Recall Scott Walker
January 17, 2012 4:32 PM   Subscribe

A Million Wisconsinites Petition to Recall Scott Walker: "Petitions with the names of 1 million Wisconsinites were submitted to state elections officials today, in a move that will jump-start the process of removing the nation’s most notorious antilabor governor from office... In all, close to 2 million signatures were submitted Tuesday, building the historic in-the-streets popular uprising that rocked Wisconsin in 2012 into a electoral uprising that has the potential to rock the politics not just of the state but of the nation in 2012. The movement to oust Walker will have secured the support of a higher percentage of eligible voters than has ever before sought to recall an American governor."

"Petitions were also filed to recall four Republican state senators: Terry Moulton in northwest Wisconsin, Pam Galloway in north-central Wisconsin, Van Wangaard in southeast Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Walker's legislative point man in the struggle last year over the governor's move last year to strip collective bargaining rights from state, county and municipal employees and teachers. If just one of the four senators is recalled and removed, control of the chamber will shift from the Republicans to the Democrats—who picked up two seats in recall elections last summer."

previously: Wisconsin recall efforts fall short amid corruption fears

last year's protests in Wisconsin - previously here, here, here, and here

more previously: here and here and here
posted by flex (106 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
A million? There's only 5.7 million people total in the state. That's impressive.
posted by octothorpe at 4:36 PM on January 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


If this happens, if Walker truly gets recalled, I will change my username to Cooter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:37 PM on January 17, 2012 [72 favorites]


Most amusing part of today's coverage on FauxNews: decrying the million signatures as nothing but the product of "out-of-state money" on the same day that Scott Walker is in New York... raising money.
posted by scody at 4:37 PM on January 17, 2012 [68 favorites]


Hey, this is pretty awesome! I hope it actually goes through and he gets the out.
posted by TheMidnightHobo at 4:39 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I will hold you to that, Brandon.
posted by brina at 4:41 PM on January 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


The Senator from Racine's name is Van Wanggaard.

In other notes: Centrist Democrat Tim Cullen, a state senator from Janesville, is so far the only Democratic candidate to declare he'll run against Walker. Russ Feingold has already said no. (Our recalls here are elections against an opposing candidate, not up-or-down referenda.) Cullen has a good working relationship with moderate Republican Dale Schultz, which gives him legitimate bipartisan "let's put this mess behind us" credentials, but he lacks statewide name recognition. Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, who lost to Walker in 2010, is still considered the most likely Walker opponent.

Vanggaard and Galloway both beat Democratic incumbents by about 5 points in the 2010 GOP sweep year; those seats are probably the prime targets for Democrats on the legislative side of things.
posted by escabeche at 4:42 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


octothorpe: "A million? There's only 5.7 million people total in the state. That's impressive."

Even more impressive when you consider the number of people who voted. The number of signatures collected corresponds to 46% of the number of voters who turned out for the last gubernatorial election in WI.
posted by schmod at 4:42 PM on January 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


I am a pacifist, but if the recall is successful, I think each of the million signatories should get to slap the little pisher.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:42 PM on January 17, 2012 [15 favorites]


You have to admit, "Brandon Cooter" has a better flow to it than "Brandon Blatcher".
posted by uosuaq at 4:42 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


...and "Cooter Blatcher" sounds illegal or at least immoral.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:45 PM on January 17, 2012 [31 favorites]


I hardly know her?
posted by en forme de poire at 4:46 PM on January 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


If this happens, if Walker truly gets recalled, I will change my username to Cooter.

Favouriting this so that when it happens I can post it to Metatalk along with the request for the change.
posted by Talez at 4:47 PM on January 17, 2012


If this happens, I'll punch a donkey on the streets of Galway.
posted by unliteral at 4:48 PM on January 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


This is the most inspiring story I've read so far this year.
posted by 2N2222 at 4:50 PM on January 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Whether this happens or not, everyone should give me a buck.
posted by chasing at 4:52 PM on January 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


Brandon, if Walker truly gets recalled, I think we'll let you call yourself anything you want.
posted by 2N2222 at 4:53 PM on January 17, 2012


Cooter Blatcher sounds like he should be one of my relatives. He would own a million beagles who lived in a nicer house than he does and keep his washer and dryer on his porch to startle the neighbors with his high-tech lifestyle, and make homemade hooch that will take the paint off of a car from a quarter mile away.

I will totally have to change him from a spouse to kin at that point.
posted by winna at 4:54 PM on January 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I wish I had a million hands with which to high-five each and everyone of those folks. Bravo.
posted by Skygazer at 4:57 PM on January 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm not really big on recall on principle, but this... this is hard not to be a little excited about.
posted by klanawa at 4:58 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is what democracy looks like.
posted by Winnemac at 4:58 PM on January 17, 2012 [20 favorites]


I think this really and truly could happen. Truly and really. The amazing thing is that even in the face of massive public scorn and disapproval, the right wing refuses to compromise. They are Rorschachian in their commitment to a black and white world - and we all know how well that turned out for Rorschach.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:59 PM on January 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Most amusing part of today's coverage on FauxNews: decrying the million signatures

On the occasions that I click-through from Google News, like I did today, I usually notice that their web site is much less hyperbolic and more fact-based than their cable channel, but their editors' master must be frothing at the mouth about this news, because their web coverage has been about as yellow as yellow journalism can get.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:02 PM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


What the hey, I am just gonna start calling you Cooter now, that's how good I'm feeling about this.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:05 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


My phone must have logged out when I closed the browser. It was disconcerting to see a vote for Mittens ad in the middle of the thread. In other news, Walkers people were spinning this as "well, 3 million people *didn't* sign, so we should win handily.
posted by dejah420 at 5:05 PM on January 17, 2012


Cullen [...] lacks statewide name recognition.

Except among sparkly vampires, one presumes.

That said, On, Wisconsin! I'm looking forward to hearing from desjardins in this thread.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:06 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's not the only recall going on in Wisconsin right now. Sheboygan's mayoral office is up for grabs as the city holds its first ever recall election today.

According to the Sheboygan Press, "the recall effort was launched after Ryan made headlines following a weekend drinking binge last July in Elkhart Lake." The challengers seeking to unseat Mayor Bob Ryan include a former state representative, a high school senior, and "a musician with the band Cedarwell."

God I love Wisconsin.
posted by compartment at 5:10 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is what happens when you:

1. Hand out a corporate tax cut to business cronies that costs the state $160 million,

2, THEN turn right around and complain that, because the state is facing a $130 million deficit, which YOU just created, that you have to screw over public employees and unions (even as your comrades in the Lege admit that trying to destroy public employee unions had nothing to do with the budget(, and

3. THEN, because you're drunk on your own power, pass a state budget that slashes over a billion dollars from public education, Medicare/BadgerCare, etc.

Wisconsin has been a heartbreak since 2010. How could that state possibly let Russ Feingold go? He's been gold for them, from what I could tell.

Anyway, it's great to see the state give a big "F-U" to Walker. May he and Fitz go down in ignominy like our own recently ousted embarrassment here in AZ, Russell Pearce.
posted by darkstar at 5:19 PM on January 17, 2012 [30 favorites]


I signed the petitions when the campus Democrats were circulating them. I've also consistently seen people out waving down cars for signatures. This is certainly wonderful news to hear.
posted by graxe at 5:21 PM on January 17, 2012


I signed it, and I fucking hate that guy, and pretty much everyone I know hates him too. Another clueless Republican asshole.
posted by Slinga at 5:23 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I actually circulated petitions among a few friends too. As I said, fuck Walker.
posted by Slinga at 5:23 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Believe it or not, this was the easy part. I went to the teacher's union office on the first day to sign the petition to remove this clown, and I have all fingers and toes firmly crossed. Now, a candidate has to be found that will inspire Democrats to come out in numbers that will counter the inevitable lather that know-nothing conservatives will be whipped into. Peter Barca would be my choice, he has a real presence, and I think he may be inhabited by the ghost of Fightin' Bob LaFollette. Problem is he is not a known quantity statewide,but everybody who has enough previous exposure reeks of mediocrity. This particular battle calls out for someone with the oratorical competence to really draw people to the polls. Forward, Badgers!
posted by ackptui at 5:27 PM on January 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


As I said, fuck Walker.
Or perhaps, once the effort is successful, "walk, fucker."
posted by kavasa at 5:37 PM on January 17, 2012 [62 favorites]


As far as I know, the only recalled state senator with a declared opponent is Galloway, who will face Marathon County Democratic Party Chairman Jeff Johnson. Johnson, a veteran and a former probation officer, was a Republican until 2000.
posted by escabeche at 5:39 PM on January 17, 2012


The number of signatures is impressive, and from what I gather, the Dems went to efforts to screen out bad signatures already so that number should be sticky.

Still, there is cause for concern - Namely, the WI Supreme court. They already handed Walker a huge victory in standing 100 years of law on it's head and ruling that the legislature is not bound by laws when creating laws. It's a ruling that makes no sense, and creates a terrible precedent. But the court was stuck - the legislature had so flagrantly violated the law that the court had no option but to make that ruling.

I don't think for a second that the court has hit the bottom of that well of shame. Scotty Wahwah just needs to ask them for another favor and this whole recall mess will go away, too.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:52 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I recall Scott Walker... Scott 1 through 4, the mindboggling 4 cuts on Nite Flights, the baffling Climate of Hunter, and his current routine of putting out challenging avant rock every decade or so - the man is one of my musical icons.

As for that other guy, he should be tied to a chair and forced to listen to Scott's 70s M.O.R. dreck for the rest of his life
posted by porn in the woods at 6:00 PM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Now, a candidate has to be found that will inspire Democrats to come out in numbers that will counter the inevitable lather that know-nothing conservatives will be whipped into.

Whoever the candidate is, they'll have the support of an *insane* amount of volunteers; almost everyone who came out to the initial demonstrations is going to be really very well disposed to what was their cause as well, right?
posted by jaduncan at 6:02 PM on January 17, 2012


Wisconsinites

If I read the butts of co-eds wearing red shorts and red sweats correctly, the proper term is "Sconnie."

That's not to say...you know, whatever: I'm a 40+ year old man living in a college town. You do the math.
posted by thanotopsis at 6:18 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


You do the math.

40 + Year Old Man = 41 Year Old Man.

That was surprisingly easy.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:23 PM on January 17, 2012 [17 favorites]


40-something is no big deal. Really. Just some younger folks think it's old, and what do they know? They're just kids, and kids who think 40 something is old are idiots. I know. Because I was such an idiot a coupla decades ago. Carry on. Thanotopsis.

/derail

posted by Skygazer at 6:30 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Scott Walker = Total Wrecks
posted by onesidys at 6:42 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wart Lockets
posted by onesidys at 6:42 PM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Some of that out of state money is mine. I never thought I’d be sending so much money to Wisconsin as I have in the last year. I’m not even sure exactly where it is without a map.
posted by bongo_x at 6:43 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Lets Act Work
posted by onesidys at 6:43 PM on January 17, 2012


Talk to Screw
posted by onesidys at 6:44 PM on January 17, 2012


We Lost Track?
posted by hincandenza at 6:48 PM on January 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Bongo,

It's easy to do. We have mail order cheese.
posted by Severian at 6:51 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


May I ask a question?

So, I haven't followed this closely, but as I understand it, Walker isn't accused of doing anything illegal, right?

I mean, the things he is being recalled for are basically political decisions, right? That is, I've heard it said that he is being recalled for doing, essentially, exactly what he promised to do in his election campaign. Is this correct?

If it is, does this bother anyone? I mean, are you comfortable using the recall process in this way? (I.e., to essentially force another, unscheduled election.) I can certainly understand the short term thrill of seeing someone you politically disagree with go down, but is anyone concerned by the long-term ramifications of this? What about Democratic governors of otherwise red states -- should that be a cause of concern?

Note that I'm not arguing against the general power to recall governors. I'm wondering if, in the long term, it is wise to use this power simply because a governor articulates and then pursues a political agenda we disagree with. Isn't that what (regular) elections are for? What makes this different?

Interested to hear your thoughts.
posted by Alaska Jack at 6:51 PM on January 17, 2012


A recall is not an impeachment, so it doesn't bother me at all. Impeachment is a tool for the legislature to remove from office corrupt or lawbreaking public officials. That is a completely different creature from a Recall.

A recall, from its origins in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, it is meant to be another check on the abuses of government. A check possessed by the people themselves.

It should come as no surprise, then, that both parties fought the development of this power tooth and nail in the 19th century and early 20th centuries.
posted by absalom at 6:55 PM on January 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


So, I haven't followed this closely, but as I understand it, Walker isn't accused of doing anything illegal, right?

The process for removing someone from office for Criminal acts is call "Impeachment".
posted by mikelieman at 7:02 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


On lack of preview, Jinx!
posted by mikelieman at 7:03 PM on January 17, 2012


Alaska Jack: That is, I've heard it said that he is being recalled for doing, essentially, exactly what he promised to do in his election campaign. Is this correct?

No, it's not. He over-reached egregiously. He never said he was going to remove collective bargaining and as far as I know he never said he was going to begin dismantling huge chunks of the state infrastructure to sell off to private interests. It was an ambush.

He's seriously damaged the actual democratic culture within the state government and the rules of order and procedure. He's been a brutal thug at every step relying on the Fitzgeralds to force through his policies and even ignore actual meeting laws in the state and gamed everything he could at every single step. His behavior has been so overkill as to be truly disgusting.
posted by Skygazer at 7:04 PM on January 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


AJ -
Wisconsin Constitution
Article I, Section 4. If you wish to read it in full, you can find it online here: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/wisconst.pdf

If you don’t wish to read it in full, allow me to quote from it:
”Section 4. The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.”

That same section also says: “The legislature cannot prohibit an individual from entering the capitol or its grounds.”
(taken from What Kind of Governor Blog)

Then again, I think most Americans realize that their constitutions are for all practical purposes vestigial.
posted by onesidys at 7:11 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Walker isn't accused of doing anything illegal, right?

Here in Madison you can hear him accused of everything from grand theft auto to rooting for the Bears, but no, not credibly.

That is, I've heard it said that he is being recalled for doing, essentially, exactly what he promised to do in his election campaign. Is this correct?

Not really. I think a lot of people feel he's governed much farther to the right than he campaigned.

If it is, does this bother anyone? .... is anyone concerned by the long-term ramifications of this?

Yes. It's something that's talked about here a lot. I don't know anybody really likes the idea of government by recall. I thought this factor would make it hard, maybe impossible, for the Democrats to gather enough signatures to trigger a recall. Obviously, I was wrong, which makes me think that people are not in the end particularly worried about long-term ramifications. There's something special about Scott Walker -- I'm not sure what it is, but we've had plenty of governors who pissed off people before and nothing like this level of opposition arose. Republicans tried to recall the previous governor, Jim Doyle, and didn't come close to the number of signatures needed. And my guess is that the next governor, Democrat or Republican, will have a recall petition launched against them, too -- but that it won't succeed.
posted by escabeche at 7:12 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


He suggested, and then the Republican-lead state assembly passed, a law that resulted in a loss of $130 million in state revenue. Then the cabal pushed for a $160 public spending cut that would have gutted schools. In addition, he pushed for a crackdown on unions, removing collective bargaining rights that were enshrined in Wisconsin - a state where the concept originated. Oh, and the budget repair bill, originally struck down as having been negotiated in violation of the public hearing laws of the state of Wisconsin, had that appealed successfully and put back into play because, according to the Republican-leaning Wisconsin Supreme Court, they do not need to follow the public hearings law.

When people protested, he made comments that the Wisconsin National Guard would be available to deal with protests and protestors, comments that were taken to be threats.

As far as illegal actions are concerned, there's the Valerie Cass and Brian Deschane appointments, where people with close connections to Walker supporters were appointed to positions they were not terribly suited for. (Ms. Cass is the mistress of State Senator Randy Hopper, and Deschane's father, Jerry Deschane, is executive vice president and a longtime lobbyist for the Wisconsin Builders' Association, which donated considerable amounts to Walker.)

Oh, and that strip-collective-bargaining bill? Turned 37 top-level jobs that were run through the civil service of the state into positions the Governor appoints, a situation that tends to bring forth the cronies. Those jobs were agency attorneys, communications officials and legislative liaisons.
posted by mephron at 7:12 PM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't know anybody really likes the idea of government by recall.

What, really? It worked great in California.

Oh, wait, no, it didn't. Of course, that was orchestrated by partisan and corporate stooges, not Tha People, so I think this is a different situation.
posted by zomg at 7:20 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


That is, I've heard it said that he is being recalled for doing, essentially, exactly what he promised to do in his election campaign. Is this correct?

No. He created a budget deficit, then used that deficit that he created as a justification for gutting collective bargaining for public employees (a move which had not been part of his platform during the campaign).
posted by scody at 7:29 PM on January 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


How did he get elected? This seems like a massive oversight.
posted by maxwelton at 7:44 PM on January 17, 2012


What do you mean? This state is half Republican, half Democratic. Republicans who ran in purple districts in 2010 won.
posted by escabeche at 7:45 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


"
If it is, does this bother anyone? I mean, are you comfortable using the recall process in this way? (I.e., to essentially force another, unscheduled election.) I can certainly understand the short term thrill of seeing someone you politically disagree with go down, but is anyone concerned by the long-term ramifications of this? What about Democratic governors of otherwise red states -- should that be a cause of concern?"

The price of getting a recall in Wisconsin is thousands of people spending hours in nasty weather and near unpleasant amounts of car traffic to gether the signatures.

So I'm not concerned.
posted by ocschwar at 7:49 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


If it is, does this bother anyone? I mean, are you comfortable using the recall process in this way? (I.e., to essentially force another, unscheduled election.) I can certainly understand the short term thrill of seeing someone you politically disagree with go down, but is anyone concerned by the long-term ramifications of this? What about Democratic governors of otherwise red states -- should that be a cause of concern?


Yes, those things are bothersome. But this jackass and his idoitarian banana republican government are even more bothersome.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:00 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


How did he get elected? This seems like a massive oversight.

Well, for starters, he didn't actually explicitly say he was personally going to create a massive budget deficit in order to justify gutting unions and public services in the name of balancing the budget.

What about Democratic governors of otherwise red states -- should that be a cause of concern?

If Walker's recalled, it will only be the third time in U.S. history that that's happened. In and of itself, it's not going to open some sort of floodgate of frivolous recalls. If it was particularly easy to recall governors, it would have happened a lot more by now, no?
posted by scody at 8:03 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


If it is, does this bother anyone? I mean, are you comfortable using the recall process in this way? (I.e., to essentially force another, unscheduled election.) I can certainly understand the short term thrill of seeing someone you politically disagree with go down, but is anyone concerned by the long-term ramifications of this? What about Democratic governors of otherwise red states -- should that be a cause of concern?

Doesn't bother me or concern me at all. All a recall process does is allow the people to speak on whether they feel an elected official should continue in their position or be replaced. Collecting the signatures doesn't do anything but allow the electorate to choose again before the scheduled cycle is complete. Anyone who is doing a job which the citizenry is happy with has nothing to fear. Anyone who is doing things such as Walker has done should be forced to face the fact that their strongarm tactics may not be allowed to continue as long as they had thought when first sworn in.

In our non-parlimentary system, it's the closest thing to a Vote Of No Confidence as we have, and I support its use. It might even need to be used more widely than it is. One thing I really like is the threshold of signatures required. It provides a check against misuse of the process without the support of a percentage of the electorate, and that's a good thing.
posted by hippybear at 8:05 PM on January 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


He created a budget deficit, then used that deficit that he created as a justification for gutting collective bargaining for public employees

This is incorrect; I would ask people to please stop repeating it. The cuts he signed in Jan 2011 were for the 2011 fiscal year. The collective bargaining changes were part of a budget repair bill that addressed a budget shortfall in 2010 fiscal year. The 2011 tax cuts did not contribute in any way to the 2010 budget shortfall.

a move which had not been part of his platform during the campaign

This is correct. Many in the state were surprised by his actions.
posted by Jpfed at 8:06 PM on January 17, 2012


If it was particularly easy to recall governors, it would have happened a lot more by now, no?

Don't only a few states actually have the ability to recall governers? I thought that so-called "direct democracy" was only found in about 5(?) of the states.

I may be completely wrong here. Off to look it up (heaven forbid that I actually do that before I post!)
posted by gaspode at 8:09 PM on January 17, 2012


Oh, there we go (from wikipedia)
only eighteen states permit recall elections to remove state officials and a nineteenth state, Illinois, allows it for Governors only.
A little out with my numbers, there.
posted by gaspode at 8:13 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Laws governing recall (from Ballotpedia, so it will still be live tomorrow)
posted by hippybear at 8:13 PM on January 17, 2012


How did he get elected? This seems like a massive oversight.

That's the thing about human beings, and it's why I'm not particularly troubled by the existence of recall laws. They are not entirely predictable entities, you cannot read minds, and so there is no definite way to tell what one will really do once he obtains power. To get elected, people will say damn near everything, so there needs to be a check on their behavior in the event they turn out to have lied.
posted by JHarris at 8:42 PM on January 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


Hey Wisconsin, good luck! You (and Zac Goldsmith) have inspired me to write to my MP right now and request he support stronger recall laws. Keep up the good work!
posted by Jehan at 2:47 AM on January 18, 2012


Jpfed is right that Walker's tax cuts were not responsible for the $137 million deficit in the 2011 fiscal year. They will add $117 million to the much scarier $3.6 billion deficit the state projects for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 (combined). At least, that's the story according to FactCheck.

What I think is more disturbing is (a) that the budget repair bill stripped collective bargaining rights, (b) that Walker chose to pursue such a strong legislative option without any actual, at the table negotiation with public employee unions, and (c) that Walker did not actually campaign on ending collective bargaining. For details, see PolitiFact articles here and here.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 2:59 AM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I wouldn't be bothered if Walker was tarred and feathered.

Bothered? What is this, a chess game? This is politics, and our government long ago became too corrupt for me to weigh noble abstractions heavily in despising people like Walker-- and all his thug cronies.
posted by spitbull at 3:17 AM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Florida is watching you, Wisconsin. Make it work.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 3:28 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not "bothered" by the use of the recall at all. Walker came into power in Milwaukee County due to a recall election orchestrated by his political friends. He then did a rather dismal job as County Executive, but his political views closely allied with the publisher of one of the state's largest paper. So, very little was reported on the terrible job he did running the county during the governor's election.

As for corruption... Walker himself hasn't been charged with anything yet, but several of his close associates have been. A railroad company exec was found guilty of campaign violations by paying his employees to donate money to Walkers Campaign. Tim Russell, one of the leader's of Walker's campaign for governor was just indicted for funneling money from a veteran's fund (a fund Walker transfered to Russell's care- despite knowing Russell had been fired by the state for improper use of funds) to his own bank account. Then there were the people campaigning for him on the county's dime.
posted by drezdn at 5:57 AM on January 18, 2012


Florida is watching you, Wisconsin. Make it work.

They'll have to give us the option to recall here first, though...
posted by saulgoodman at 6:10 AM on January 18, 2012


happy to have helped in my own small way here in the heart of wisconsin. this past year has been incredible...the connections and friends i and others have made by getting involved at the grassroots level have been nothing short of amazing. i feel transformed and empowered, and i think a lot of others do, too. fighting bob would be proud...forward !!!

escabeche -- i believe there will be a primary in this particular instance, with real lefty candidates. i think you'll see this all over the state as well. the right may run fake primary candidates, too...but i believe all the grassroots organizing over the last year has generated a lot of ordinary people ready to step up and run for office. you might also see some current assemblypersons go up a step to the state senate, with grassroots people then running for those assembly seats. and a lot of grassroots people are running for local offices -- school board, city and county councils, mayor, etc. it's been an incredible movement to watch and be a part of...it's grown exponentially from next to nothing, and continues to grow.

most potential lefty candidates have held off from publicly declaring in order to keep the focus on walker, the tea-party senators and their records, rather than have them turn around and direct their unlimited campaign funds directly at those lefty candidates and thereby re-frame the focus and discussion. and it's worked...anti-walker sentiment is at a fever-pitch, and he can't turn around without getting slapped with more scrutiny and criticism. it helps that he has continually misstepped and overreached in every way, too :)

alaska jack -- there have been reams written about this, but to distill it a bit...the main problem with walker and company's tactics as far as a lot of us are concerned are their lack of integrity, respect, cooperation, transparency. it goes way beyond the stripping of collective bargaining; anybody who tries to tie this exclusively to the unions doesn't understand what WI is all about. we have a government that has traditionally been very bi-partisan, cooperative and respectful with one another, where legislators from both sides go for dinner together after sessions have ended. but that's not been what we've seen since the tea-party takeover of '10. all of a sudden -- illegal closed meetings, rooms too small for meetings, meetings held far from constituents, abruptly ending meetings once dissent appears, holding votes in the middle of the night without even notifying the minority dem party, the closing of the capitol building to the public and heavy restrictions once finally re-opened, gov't positions previously filled by the most qualified through applications now changed to appointment by the gov, cronyism and corruption in those appointments, ceding legislative power and non-partisan board power to the gov, gerrymandered redistricting done without dem or public approval and in secret, voter id, campaign finance laws broken, on and on and on...this is not the Wisconsin way. people from all political persuasions agree that this is not the way...and therefore this recall has much support across WI.

jpfed -- not so sure about this. i recall (heh) that the state's non-partisan budget office claimed we actually had a surplus. can't find it right now. but at the time of the budget repair bill last winter, that was the main argument against walker's claim. (that office also claimed that 2/3 of WI corporations paid no net taxes, btw. so much for WI being a 'tax hell') besides, many people's property taxes went up anyway, since walker 'balanced' his budget by kicking the can to the municipalities. in many cases the municipalities aren't allowed to raise taxes to cover the shortfalls. and i thought i heard that the earned income tax credit and homestead tax were knocked down or eliminated. whether past administrations dem or rep played the same games is irrelevant -- walker got in on the claim that he would clean it up, but has resorted to the same games, and worse.
posted by g.i.r. at 7:39 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]



How did he get elected? This seems like a massive oversight.


It would certainly be interesting to compare the astounding 1 million signatures to voter turnout in elections.

It's very clear that people don't like Walker and understand the damage he's doing, but do they actually have enough faith in his competition to vote for them?

I sincerely hope that the Democrats surprise me, and do dramatic things to undo Walker's damage and rebuild their state.
posted by Stagger Lee at 7:54 AM on January 18, 2012


Alaska Jack, your other points have been well rebutted (as they were based on false assumptions), so I'll address:

What about Democratic governors of otherwise red states -- should that be a cause of concern?

Not if the voters change their minds, and decide the governors were not fulfilling the roles they were elected to serve. That's called democracy, whether or not "my guy" benefits from it.

As long as the process is not easy, but realistically achievable, it should be difficult to abuse, and serve the goal of government answerable to the people.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:42 AM on January 18, 2012




jpfed -- good to know, thanks. but i stand by my assessment of walker -- he 'balanced' nothing, just passed the bill onto others who can ill afford it, as many before him did also. it's no wonder plenty of people are upset.
posted by g.i.r. at 9:44 AM on January 18, 2012


Stripping collective bargaining rights was just a fuck-you from Walker to the people. It did not affect the budget one way or the other.
posted by cereselle at 10:48 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


How did he get elected? This seems like a massive oversight.

Well, his opponent was the Mayor of the City of Milwaukee, versus him being County Executive of Milwaukee County (as with other metros, the suburbs are more conservative). Neither was well known outside the area. Mayor Barrett is a solid ... moderate (in fact, because he ultimately used Walker's "reforms" to unilaterally alter union contracts, he was specifically asked NOT to run in the recall election, but he will anyway), and an unexciting campaigner. Walker is no barn burner, either, but he had huge monied interests behind him, and succeeded in tying Barrett to the outgoing Democratic governor, Jim Doyle, an even less exciting technocrat (former Attorney General) who had managed to tick off a lot of special interests over his eight years in office.

Walker's awful record at the county was also pretty much wilfully ignored by the media, including things that clearly prefigured his actions in the statehouse, such as privatizing all county office security jobs (which sparked a multi-year lawsuit). An ongoing John Doe investigation of cronies surrounding him at the county is only now bearing fruit in the form of arrests and grand jury indictments.

If it is, does this bother anyone? I mean, are you comfortable using the recall process in this way?

I just don't understand this question. If the recall procedure was intended to be limited to, say, indicted or convicted office-holders, it would be in the law. The law, though, is agnostic about any reason for recall. That means the people may use it at their discretion. Yeah, I don't relish a bunch of Tea Party-esque recalls, something like the term limits fad (which seems to have utterly vanished from the radar once a bunch of term-limit advocates, uh, reached and passed their own supposed voluntary limits), and I'm frequently appalled at the awful precedents (bad legal language, etc.) set by referenda, but this was a key Progressive era reform directed at politicians controlled by -- hmm, seems familiar -- monied special interests.
posted by dhartung at 12:10 PM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]




Is cooterfilter.com available?
posted by theora55 at 1:00 PM on January 18, 2012


Man this thread seems to be filled with a great deal of coasties who have gobbled up what the likes of Schultz and Maddow feed them. Sadly most of the fine Sconnies here in the Mad-City and up Nord as well are clueless to the real issues and spout misinformation like a schoolyard bubbler. Where to even begin? How bout "Walker didn't campaign on this!! whaaa whaaa BS. First off isn't it pretty naive to think that a Politician is going to lay out chapter and verse what his policies will be during the campaign? Nonetheless WEAC (largest public teacher's Union) had an inkling. Just look at their October 2010 Newsletter (hint, before the election.) to see their vapors. This was also reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Anybody paying attention knew he wanted to take Health Insurance decisions out of Collective Bargaining. Anybody who followed Walker's career as Milwaukee County Executive knew his stance on Public Union's holding too much power at the expense of State taxpayers. The left doesn't want to believe it but Walker was elected on purpose not by accident. It is more accurate to say that the vocal minority in America's Dairyland were still smarting from the election and wanted to begin Recalls (do overs) as soon as possible no matter what the policies introduced. Walker just gave them ammunition because he finally stood up to the Public Unions and the Status Quo in our great state. Lefties are just angry that there is a Gov who finally sticks to what he stands for and respects the taxpayer. Elections have consequences as our leader Barack has said. I for one am proud of the courage and honesty of my Great State's Governor! The sad thing is that there are no solutions heard from the Left. What would they have done if they had won in 2010? Raise more taxes? Raid the transportation fund like Doyle and Pocan? Refuse to pay back Minnesota the reciprocity funds they were owed? Shortsightedly using stimilus funds to plug holes in the Annual budget like Doyle? Bail a Rep out of jail to pass sweetheart Union contracts before Walker took power? (after going without a contract for over a year with Dem Gov and Dem legislature), oh yeah they tried that. Truth is a Left administration left Walker and the Legislature with a stinking pile of fiscal dog doo. Walker balanced the budget while not raising taxes all while preserving essential services. Didn't cry and moan about the earlier administration putting the car in the ditch, he just got in there and got the job done. That is what it means to do the job one is elected to do and be a leader. What has the Left leaders done lately in my state? Oh yeah run away to Illinois, chanted vitriol, and had hissy fits. Show me what childishness looks like!
posted by Cainaan777 at 11:47 PM on January 18, 2012


Awesome first comment Cainaan777. What say you, lefty coasties? Chant vitriol and have hissy fits no doubt.
posted by unliteral at 3:34 AM on January 19, 2012




Walker balanced the budget while not raising taxes all while preserving essential services.

Walker raised taxes, except they were on poor people, so you might not have noticed.

Also here.

Speaking of Recalls, Cainaan777, how are the attempts to recall Doyle going?
posted by drezdn at 4:54 AM on January 19, 2012


Walker raised taxes, except they were on poor people, so you might not have noticed.

Also here.


I should mention that Wisconsin's Politifact parses words and attempts to defend Walker in the sweet ways only they know how to.
posted by drezdn at 4:58 AM on January 19, 2012


How inept is the Walker administration?

They are so inept that:

1. They hired a campaign contributor's son and paid him 90k a year despite his complete lack of qualifications.

2. They rammed through a election redistricting plan that would go in effect with the 2012 general election. Once they realized that recalls were happening they've tried to get their plan implementation moved up through the courts, because they messed up.

3. Normally, state electoral redistricting happens after local ones. They couldn't wait though, and by rushing the plan through, have caused huge problems for county clerks and voters. A Federal judge just had to tell them to stop fucking around.

4. Walker promised 250k jobs for Wisconsin. He had to quietly walk back this promise late last year. Since Walker took office, Wisconsin has been among the last in job creation in the country.
posted by drezdn at 5:20 AM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Almost forgot

5. In Walker's "It's working" commercials, the "job creator's" main business is helping companies outsource to China.
posted by drezdn at 5:30 AM on January 19, 2012


I think that ultimately, this has far less to do with Walker not campaigning on his radicalism than it has to do with Wisconsin being an essentially centrist state, and Walker, a loony extremist, trying to govern it from the far-right.

I'd contrast this with, say, Schwarzenegger in California or Obama nationally. Both gained office during significant pendulum swings towards their party, but both also recognized that being lucky enough to run during a period when the electorate is fed up with the other guy isn't remotely the same as the public supporting Whatever You Do Forever And Ever Amen.

Walker doesn't seem to get that.

Does it bug me that this is being done for political purposes? No. He's a politician, and recalls are a political act. Furthermore, all of the actions that people find so objectionable were done largely for political purpose. It's a little late to start finding politics distasteful now.

In his defense, in a way, it's not even Walker's fault. The American right has degenerated to the point that much of them will reject any candidate with even a hint of moderation or sanity ... and they're Walker's constituency. Cainaan777 is his constituency. Read his comment again. Mostly, it's about mocking the Wisconsin left ... 'sticking it to them.' That's what Walker's hard-core constituency wants, and that's what he gave them. It's just his bad luck that that's not really what the voters as a whole want.

Yes, Cainaan777, elections have consequences. So do actions taken in office. Walker, and you, are about to learn that.
posted by Myca at 7:49 AM on January 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I for one am proud of the courage and honesty of my Great State's Governor!

That's nice and all, but you should understand that support for him outside of his base is tepid at best.

My in-laws are farmers in the fox valley - real salt of the earth, fox news watching, gay hating, libtard mocking Real Americans. They were pretty excited about him at first.

Now, they sort of wish he'd knock it off. While they might agree with some of his policies and positions, they don't at all agree with his methods.

And that is really the gist of it - I get that you enjoy the authoritarian nanny state "because I said so" sort of government Walker represents, but that's not good governance.

Walker is a bad governor, and this republican crowd are bad legislators. It's a simple truth.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:34 AM on January 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Welcome, Cainan777, and thank you for bringing all the subtlety, thoughtfulness, and mutual respect that is found in my local newspaper's comment section to MetaFilter.

this has far less to do with Walker not campaigning on his radicalism

Well, it's not like that's the primary reason here. That's something we have to keep bringing up because people like Cainan777 keep trying to tell us that this was what he campaigned on so nyah nyah nyah (yeah, pretty much about that mature, too). He didn't, and he did not have a mandate from the electorate to make these radical changes, which is why people have been energized politically.

Sure, he "balanced" the budget after a fashion, but he did it largely by unbalancing the budgets of every single local unit of government in the state through a massive reduction in shared revenue -- something some of us still remember the Republicans touting as "property tax relief". Guess what happens when you cut property tax relief? Yup, you force LUGs to raise taxes, duh. Oh, by the way, they put a new, lower cap on how much you can raise taxes. So every city, county, school district, and whatever in the state now has an unbalanced budget. Ah, but Saint Walker will provide you with the "tools" you need to solve this problem! You and your employees sat down and negotiated a contract like adults and signed it and accepted its terms at face value, maybe last year or the year before, right? Well, by fiat from Madison, you can now abrogate all non-salary provisions of that contract! In fact, unless you took certain steps in the brief window when it was known the state was going to do this, your employees are now having their contract provisions set from a scrawl on a napkin at a cocktail party in the Governor's Mansion! What, your employees won't accept this? They thought they had a signed contract that under common law of the last many centuries will be honored except in cases of, oh, national emergency? Nope! It's shredded! Y U MAD? This set public employees around the state, no matter how good their labor relations had been with their LUG, as scapegoats and burdens to the taxpayers. Even with these "tools" some LUGs have had to raise taxes (or find other sources of revenue). It was, I'll grant, a strategy that was rather inspired in its blunt, incendiary power, the way a bomb thrown into a crowd can wake everyone up.

Yep, thanks to Walker, we may have in this country a labor movement again. I'll grant him that kudos.
posted by dhartung at 1:57 PM on January 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm not convinced that Cainan777 isn't engaging in hamburger. Sadly, it could go either way.

The part of me thinks it's sarcasm says LOL. The part of me that thinks he's actually saying this also says LOL, but in rather a more dismissive sense.
posted by JHarris at 2:26 PM on January 19, 2012


I have no idea how I missed this thread.

Anyway, my fondest memory of the recall: there are a couple of little old ladies who live down the street, on my way home from work. Given the rainbow flag on their window, they might be lesbians. Anyhow, they've had a RECALL WALKER sign on their lawn for months, and in November they put their time where their mouth was. On the very first day of the recall, as I was driving home, I saw one of them standing at the curb, waving the sign like the FURNITURE STORE GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE people do. I noticed she had a card table set up on her lawn, so I braked hard and stopped to sign. I noticed a very familiar car parked down the block, and it turned out to be my husband, who'd had the exact same reaction upon seeing the sign.

That lady was out there for weeks, even when it got to be below freezing. I wonder how many signatures she got. I wouldn't be surprised if it was in the hundreds. I'm really proud of our neighborhood in general - there are tons of anti-Walker signs about.

Meanwhile, our immediate neighbor has a STAND WITH WALKER sign in his lawn. We have two dogs that are tall enough to ... you know ... but I'm too nice.
posted by desjardins at 11:17 AM on January 20, 2012


Well calling someone a lefty and accusing them of hissy fits I don't think rises to the level of being savagely caustic Unilateral so maybe dial down the sensitivity on the Vitriol meter.
> Interesting links Drezdn however they only show the surface of the issue. You realize of course I hope that as much sense Politifact makes much of the time they are still only producing an opinion based on there own unique set of criteria right? There are other legitimate views out there. I am of the opinion that it is a pretty large stretch to call reducing and/or capping tax "credits" raising taxes. Especially when it really is more of a gift than a tax reduction because much of the EIC is given to those who have no tax liability anyway. The result is only that their gift amount has been reduced this year. I wonder if your aware of how the Wisconsin EIC stands to that of other states in the union? I am aware and that info helps form my opinion.
Regardless of your definition of what a tax increase actually is I think that issue as well as your further talking points are really smokescreen for wanting a DO-OVER and don't rise to anything other than policy differences with a little speculation thrown in. Not really worthy of a recall movement costing taxpayers of WI millions. Fodder for influencing your 2014 vote sure.
posted by Cainaan777 at 12:42 AM on January 21, 2012


Myca, dhartung, and Pogo_fuzzybutt I will respond to you personally instead of the issues raised because though it is discouraged in theory in this hive, you seem to not be able to help it. You both have been able to assume a great deal about "People like me" as dhartung put it from one post of opinion on this thread. And yet you are so sure of your deductions. Hmmm this comes easy and understandable to those with a left leaning bias, but if one might suggest "People like you" as being elitist and pretentious then that is just the caveman reaction of the Right? Really you are too comfortable in your presumption if you think you know anything about what makes me or anyone else tick. Your predictions are just predictions not anymore valid than anyone else's. Polls are just polls and they refute each other. We won't know until the election is here. It is curious to me though why an element of the Left thinks every election they lose is because voters were too stupid or deceived etc etc etc. It can never be that their policy and idealism is out of step with what those who voted want. It is always y'all are too dumb, racist, hateful, to have legitimate opinions. This is all just time -wasting anyway so carry on comrades, carry on!
posted by Cainaan777 at 1:10 AM on January 21, 2012


It can never be that their policy and idealism is out of step with what those who voted want. It is always y'all are too dumb, racist, hateful, to have legitimate opinions. This is all just time -wasting anyway so carry on comrades, carry on!

Fuck me.
posted by jaduncan at 6:44 PM on January 22, 2012


I feel like "Comrades" is meant to be an insult, but I’m not insulted in the least. Then again, I’m not afraid of the word Socialism, and neither are way more Americans than Fox news would have you believe.
posted by bongo_x at 10:15 PM on January 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Holy crap, Cainaan777 actually meant what he said! This deserves the full treatment.

Man this thread seems to be filled with a great deal of coasties who have gobbled up what the likes of Schultz and Maddow feed them.

You don't have to watch Rachel Maddow to know that Scott Walker was a bad governor. I have no idea who you mean by Schultz.

Sadly most of the fine Sconnies here in the Mad-City and up Nord as well are clueless to the real issues and spout misinformation like a schoolyard bubbler.

It's language like "schoolyard bubbler" that caused me to initially peg you for sarcasting. Who talks like that? Well it's obvious now: you do. Why? (Maybe I'm kind of throwing stones from inside glass houses after using "sarcasting," but at least it wasn't intended hatefully.)

Where to even begin? How bout "Walker didn't campaign on this!! whaaa whaaa BS.

I'm so glad you are here to tell us with your plain talking the real deal about how the world works. I'm sure that debate teams will study your "whaaa whaaa BS" technique for decades to come.

First off isn't it pretty naive to think that a Politician is going to lay out chapter and verse what his policies will be during the campaign?

Well supposing we grant your statement (and nothing says we have to), there is no real reason, once the ship's true colors are known after entering harbor, that we can't immediately sink her. To argue otherwise is analogous to claiming, if you're sold a car that's been calculated to run just until it gets out of the dealer's parking lot before falling to pieces, that you have no right to be mad. Of course if you open the hood of a car and inspect the engine a knowledgeable person may be able to tell if it's likely to run for long; it's harder to so inspect the mind of a human being.

Nonetheless WEAC (largest public teacher's Union) had an inkling. Just look at their October 2010 Newsletter (hint, before the election.) to see their vapors. This was also reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

So some people had caught the scent in the air. Evidently the voters at large had not. They certainly smell it now.

Anybody paying attention knew he wanted to take Health Insurance decisions out of Collective Bargaining. Anybody who followed Walker's career as Milwaukee County Executive knew his stance on Public Union's holding too much power at the expense of State taxpayers.

Alas, voters often do not pay attention. This is not actually necessarily a point against them -- modern politics is notoriously information dense, much of it being lies by design. Not everyone has the time to follow politician's careers, or the newsletters of teacher's unions. This is because they are sane.

The left doesn't want to believe it but Walker was elected on purpose not by accident. It is more accurate to say that the vocal minority in America's Dairyland were still smarting from the election and wanted to begin Recalls (do overs) as soon as possible no matter what the policies introduced.

Here we get to the point where it becomes obvious you're either trolling or a fool. This "vocal minority" consists of over a million signers in a state with less than six million people. That population figure makes no accounting for those not of voting age! Full elections usually get less turnout than this!

Walker just gave them ammunition because he finally stood up to the Public Unions and the Status Quo in our great state.

Evidently the state isn't as great as you think it is, or rather isn't the same kind of great.

Lefties are just angry that there is a Gov who finally sticks to what he stands for and respects the taxpayer.

By dreadfully misusing their money.

Elections have consequences as our leader Barack has said.

Did he say that? Who knows, or cares.

What follows is a tirade in which you level accusations against names I've never heard of before. I'm not a Wisconsinite. I presume they are hated bogeymen of the right. They could all be devils incarnate for all I care right now, because the man we're talking about, Scott Wilson, received over a million signatures from Wisconsinites against him.

You could fling names all you want, and misinterpret facts all the livelong day, but you aren't changing that one. Unless something drastic happens between now and the recall election it looks like Walker is doomed, and because one of my superpowers is empathy I can cheer the voters of Wisconsin on as they do it. Who will you cheer for?

As for the remainder of your comment: do you actually think in terms of cliches?
posted by JHarris at 11:42 PM on January 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


JHarris- Schultz may have been a reference to the lone GOP Senator that voted against SB10.

The exchange between Cainaan777 and the people that responded to him was a wasted opportunity for dialogue. Neither side seemed particularly interested in actually convincing the other, so much as scoring points.
posted by Jpfed at 3:28 AM on January 23, 2012


Not that I agree with Cainaan777, but this...

It's language like "schoolyard bubbler" that caused me to initially peg you for sarcasting.

made me laugh. You're not from here, are you? :) Bubbler is a totally cromulent word.

Also, Schultz probably refers to Ed Schultz if he's in the same sentence with Maddow.
posted by desjardins at 9:07 AM on January 23, 2012


Elections have consequences as our leader Barack has said.

Did he say that? Who knows, or cares.


Yeah, he did. So did John McCain before him, and a million others before him. For a gotcha line, "elections have consequences" isn't a particular winner.
posted by cereselle at 2:40 PM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, although my favorite time was when Sen. Boxer used the line "Elections have consequences" to basically tell Sen Inhofe to STFU.
posted by darkstar at 3:25 PM on January 23, 2012


The exchange between Cainaan777 and the people that responded to him was a wasted opportunity for dialogue. Neither side seemed particularly interested in actually convincing the other, so much as scoring points.

Cainaan777 wasn't interested in dialogue. He was interested in broadcasting. He is a loudspeaker -- you can't argue with him because he's not here to listen.
posted by JHarris at 5:37 PM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]




Gov. Scott Walker To Use Foreclosure Settlement Money To Balance His Budget, Not Help Homeowners

...precisely as he was elected to do!!!!!1
posted by scody at 9:24 PM on February 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


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