The national unions, for them, this is all about the money. It’s not just about the budget or collective bargaining. We gave nearly every, well, we gave every public employee in the state the freedom to choose whether or not they want to be in a union or not and I think that’s really why this is a Waterloo for them.Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker • Suggesting that the recall election against him was “Waterloo” for union groups trying to keep their influence. He seemed unfazed by the political cloud hanging over his head. “They’re going to invest everything possible to try and take me out to send a message not only to other Republican governors,” he continued, “but I think to a number of discerning Democrat governors and mayors who look at this and say, you know what? Maybe we can rein in our cost here and be able to balance our budget in a way that’s responsible if we do some of the same things that they’ve done in Wisconsin.” Think he’s just trying to keep a strong face?
If the unions win the recall, there will be no stopping union power.Billionaire David Koch • Speaking about the Wisconsin recall efforts against Gov. Scott Walker. Koch made the comments during a recent speech after a benefit dinner, and were quickly backtracked by his spokeswoman, who clarified, “[Koch Industries thinks] the best workplace relationships are fostered when the employer works directly with its employees. It is a mischaracterization of our principles to say this means we oppose unions or want to dismantle all unions.” The Koch brothers find themselves under ever-increasing scrutiny for supporting political causes around the country, most notably the recall campaign of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. source (via • follow)
» That’s way more than enough, but … In a huge sign of support for the unions that suffered greatly at the hands of Scott Walker, over half a million signatures were gathered against the Wisconsin governor. The signatures, which will get submitted to the state’s Government Accountability Board today, could be enough to force a recall election against the governor just over a year into his term. However, it’s important to keep in mind that gubernatorial recall elections are rare, and have only succeeded twice in U.S. history. The most recent, though, was the 2003 recall of Gray Davis in California, so it’s certainly not unprecedented in the modern political climate for a governor to lose a recall election. But will there be an opponent formidable enough to defeat Scott? Maybe Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who lost against Walker in 2010 but knows a thing or two about coming back strong after getting his butt kicked.
Walker to state: Who, me? As the recall push against Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker heats up, Walker has pushed back, denying he incited such action: “…we wouldn’t have to spend a penny of that if there weren’t recalls. This is not something we brought on.” To refresh the memory, Walker and the state GOP passed a law stripping union rights from public sector employees earlier this year. Despite the unions agreeing to accept Walker’s benefit cuts if he’d leave collective bargaining alone, Walker wanted the whole hog (he also admitted to a David Koch impersonator that he’d considered planting troublemakers at the Madison protests). source
» Why no love for the GOP? Over the last six months, everybody—Obama, Democrats, and Republicans—has seen a net drop in their approval ratings, but Republicans are clearly the most hated of the bunch. This is probably due to a combination of factors: Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, Scott Walker’s anti-union antics in Wisconsin, and the GOP’s handling of the debt ceiling debate were all high-profile issues that attracted (mostly) negative attention to the GOP. Whatever the cause, there’s one thing we can glean from these results: Democrats seem to be out-messaging Republicans in 2011. Whether or not this can carry Obama to reelection amidst a horrible economy remains to be seen.
Maybe it shows that voters indicated they deserved more time to let their voice be heard on such an important piece of legislation.Wisconsin State Sen. Jim Holperin • Discussing the reasons he felt he and fellow State Sen. Robert Wirch got to keep their seats last night after facing a recall over the controversial anti-union legislation that led to an earlier set of recalls that cost two Republicans their seats. The final tally? Republicans now have a 17-16 majority in the state senate — less than what Democrats wanted, but enough to make Republicans take notice. source (via • follow)
Wisconsin Republicans’ quixotic attempt to recall Democratic state senators has gotten off to a bad start: State Sen. David Hansen was easily re-elected in today’s recall election, defeating his opponent by a 2:1 margin. Hansen is the first of nine WI State Senators facing recall attempts (three Democrats, six Republicans).The recalls were first initiated by Democrats hoping to punish Republicans for supporting Scott Walker’s anti-union bill last Spring. Republicans, out of a combination of boredom and petulance, responded by launching their own recall petitions against Democrats who opposed the bill. source
The Details: Stick with us here. In order to recall Walker, Democrats need to gather around 540,000 signatures (that number being 25% of the total votes cast for Governor last year); once this process starts, they’ll have sixty days to hit that target. If and when they do, state election officials will likely schedule the recall on the same day as the next major statewide election. The question is: When should Democratic operatives start gathering signatures?
» The kicker: State Republicans, who would prefer the first scenario, are said to be considering launching a fake “Recall Walker” signature-gathering campaign in the fall, in order to force an early recall. Seriously, guys—who ever said politics was boring?