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  1. #1
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Default Total Recall: Wisconsin

    http://www.wisconsingazette.com/poli...-senators.html

    Wisconsin progressives have moved from Capitol Square in Madison to call centers, makeshift offices and the streets of their hometowns, where they’re organizing one of the most ambitious recall drives in the nation’s history.

    Democrats are targeting all eight GOP senators who can be recalled under state law, hoping to pick up at least three seats and regain control of the Senate.

    In a separate effort by Republicans, eight Democratic senators have also been targeted for recall. The targeted Democrats all have pro-equality voting records, while the targeted Republicans oppose equality along with policies supporting women’s health, environmental protections and justice for workers and consumers.

    The targeted GOP senators have all earned high ratings from groups promoting the corporate-right agenda, including Americans for Prosperity, which is funded largely by Charles and David Koch. The billionaire brothers poured over $1 million into Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign last fall and opened an office of their energy company, Koch Industries, in Madison shortly after his election. Walker's budget bill positioned Koch Industries to receive lucrative no-bid contracts from the state.

    Although the recall efforts target both sides of the political aisle, political observers agree the energy and enthusiasm is disproportionately on the left as a result of the massive mobilization against Walker’s budget bill. That bill stripped public unions of nearly all their rights and decimated funding for public health, education and transportation while reducing the tax liability of corporations and the state’s wealthiest individuals. It also set the stage for Koch Industries and other GOP allies to receive favored treatment from the state.

    National pundits say Walker has done more to galvanize Democrats than any Republican since George W. Bush.

    Unlike the homegrown campaigns against Republicans, the effort against Democrats is organized by the American Patriot Recall Coalition, according to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Office. APR is a right-wing group based in Utah. Its promotional materials often imply members are grassroots organizations, but they are not.

    the breakdown
    At least one of the Democratic recall targets – Sen. Jim Holperin of Conover – is considered highly vulnerable for recall, although he’s already survived one recall attempt. Obama won his district in 2008 by 7 percentage points.

    Green Bay Democrat Dave Hansen and Kenosha Democrat Bob Wirch also are said by Republicans to be somewhat vulnerable, although Obama won both their districts in 2008 by double digits.

    At the same time, at least three Republicans are considered highly vulnerable, and another three are somewhat vulnerable, said out state Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, who has emerged as a leader in the fight against Walker’s budget bill.

    “The situation now is the opposite of what we had last November, where it pretty much didn’t matter who your candidate was if they had a ‘D’ after their name,” Pocan said. “This time, if you’ve got an ‘R’ after your name, it’s not going to be good at the polls.”

    Pocan said it’s critical for LGBT people to continue standing in solidarity with the unions as the political action moves from the streets to the ballot boxes. “Labor was there with us when we had our constitutional amendment fight. This is another right that’s being attacked and we have to stick together when someone attacks rights,” he said.

    Wisconsin law makes recalls difficult. Organizers have 60 days to collect signatures numbering at least 25 percent of all the people who voted in the last gubernatorial election in their respective districts. That means recall groups must collect 12,000-21,000 signatures in each of the targeted senate districts in order to qualify for the ballot.

    Only lawmakers who have served for at least a year can be subjected to a recall election, which is why Walker’s detractors must wait for the opportunity to remove him from office.

    Despite the challenge, progressive leaders said their efforts are exceeding expectations. State Democratic officials reported on March 14 that 45 percent of the total signatures needed in all eight Republican districts had been gathered. Only one-quarter of the time required to obtain signatures had passed at that point in time.

    “It’s going fantastically,” said Tammy Bockhorst of Grassroots Shorewood. “We’re just amazed at all of the people who have offered their support.”

    Grassroots Shorewood is going after one of the most vulnerable Republicans, state Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills, a largely suburban district north of Milwaukee that includes some of the state’s most affluent citizens as well as working-class areas such as Menomonee Falls.

    Darling, who won her last election by 1,000 votes, has enraged many voters by voting in lockstep with fringe Christian groups and the corporate agenda. But Bockhorst said it was Darling’s support for Walker’s union-busting bill and the GOP’s vilification of teachers that has been the last straw for many in her district.

    “People are telling us that they are very upset with the fact that she’s not giving any reasons as to why she’s siding with Walker,” Bockhorst said. “They’re especially upset that she’s cancelled all her town hall meetings and has become totally unavailable.”

    Anti-Darling protesters, many of them wearing hot-pink T-shirts – “the color just seems to go with the name ‘Darling, – Bockhorst said – lined Lake Drive north of Edgewood Avenue on March 16 to draw attention to the recall effort. Darling, however, missed the proceedings. She was in Washington, D.C., attending a $1,000-$5,000 a plate fundraiser for Wisconsin Republicans sponsored by the BGR Group, one of the corporate right’s most powerful lobbying organizations.

    Another Republican vulnerable to recall gave his political opponents an unintended gift several weeks ago. When pro-union protesters surrounded the Fond du Lac home of right-wing state Sen. Randy Hopper, his wife emerged to tell them he no longer lived there, because he’d moved in with his much-younger mistress in Madison. She told reporters both she and her maid are supporting his recall.

    His wife’s revelation prompted a complaint to be filed against Hopper for living outside his district. The complaint is currently under investigation by the Wisconsin Justice Department.

    Hopper was elected to the Senate in 2008 by a margin of only 200 votes. A recent Washington Post poll showed him losing 54-43 in a hypothetical recall match.

    Dan Kapanke of La Crosse is another vulnerable Republican. He won his last race with under 3,000 votes out of 87,000 cast. The Post poll showed him losing a recall by a whopping 57-41.

    Republicans Robert Cowles of Green Bay, Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls and Luther Olsen of Ripon are considered somewhat vulnerable.

    Fair Wisconsin has joined with gay civic leaders and elected officials in backing the recall efforts targeting Republicans. Elections could begin as early as June.
    As predicted, this is a pretty big shitstorm. People really don't like their right to organize being taken away, not one bit.

    What do you guys think about all this? Given the progress made so far, I would say the odds are very good for all eligible leaders to be held accountable for their actions, and this is worth noting because it doesn't seem to happen very often.

  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Well, like the article says, it's only possible because of the extremism shown by the current office holders.
    You push the pendulum too far in one direction, the backswing only gets nastier.

    (This is one reason Obama has been taking so much crap in office... because of the overzealousness of his supporters in the 2008 election.)

    And what's up with Michigan? more heated craziness there.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_1...99-503544.html
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Well, like the article says, it's only possible because of the extremism shown by the current office holders.
    You push the pendulum too far in one direction, the backswing only gets nastier.

    (This is one reason Obama has been taking so much crap in office... because of the overzealousness of his supporters in the 2008 election.)

    And what's up with Michigan? more heated craziness there.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_1...99-503544.html
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #4
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    That law in Michigan is actually a lot more disturbing than the law in Wisconsin.

    When you see something about unilaterally firing elected officials you're looking at the reddest of flags.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    http://www.wisconsingazette.com/poli...-senators.html
    People really don't like their right to organize being taken away, not one bit.
    People don't like people with a monopoly on public goods provision screwing over the tax-payer and making government much more expensive than necessary, either; like I said on the other thread, we'll see how this all turns out. Media outlets up to this point have generally gone out of their way to portray the actions and agenda of public-employee unions in a positive light (even down-playing numerous death-threats against the Republican Senators after blatantly trying to pin the blame of the Giffords shooting on Republicans and the Tea Parties on the basis of 'extreme' rhetoric), so the pro-public union side has had an advantage in terms of public relations thus far. Its possible that Wisconsin Republicans overreached (much like the national Democrats before them), but I still see this as a national winner for the Republicans.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    People don't like people with a monopoly on public goods provision screwing over the tax-payer and making government much more expensive than necessary, either; like I said on the other thread, we'll see how this all turns out. Media outlets up to this point have generally gone out of their way to portray the actions and agenda of public-employee unions in a positive light (even down-playing numerous death-threats against the Republican Senators after blatantly trying to pin the blame of the Giffords shooting on Republicans and the Tea Parties on the basis of 'extreme' rhetoric), so the pro-public union side has had an advantage in terms of public relations thus far. Its possible that Wisconsin Republicans overreached (much like the national Democrats before them), but I still see this as a national winner for the Republicans.
    I'm not so sure I view every single, eligible Republican senator in the state being recalled (potentially and at this rate, probably) as a good thing, so I don't really see how the party is winning any influence. I also don't see how this incident has anything to do with a shooting in Arizona, so I don't know why we're talking about that, either.

  7. #7
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    I'm not so sure I view every single, eligible Republican senator in the state being recalled (potentially and at this rate, probably) as a good thing, so I don't really see how the party is winning any influence. I also don't see how this incident has anything to do with a shooting in Arizona, so I don't know why we're talking about that, either.
    I highly doubt that all eight of those Republicans are going to be recalled; its not yet even a huge probability that even one of them will be, though its not looking so good for some of them. As for influence, if Ohio and Michigan (and others) can achieve lasting change in this direction, losses in Wisconsin would be an acceptable trade-off for the national party (though not the Wisconsin branch).

    I mentioned the media's coverage of the Giffords shooting to highlight the differences between their coverage of extreme rhetoric (or worse) then and now, as an example of their generally positive spin on the actions of the public unions, thereby providing a good public relations environment for the latter.

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