I don’t think it would have made the difference. But it’s kind of like Thanksgiving at your in-laws. If you go, it doesn’t guarantee it’s going to be fun, but if you don’t go, there’s going to be hell to pay.Democratic strategist Paul Begala • On President Obama’s decision not to campaign for Tom Barrett in Wisconsin. 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?
» Total Recall: Democratic efforts to flip control of the Wisconsin State Senate just reached an important milestone, as organizers have now collected enough signatures to force three Republican senators into recall elections. If Democrats win all three elections, they’ll be rewarded with control of the Wisconsin State Senate. This is, of course, pending validation of the collected signatures; in all three cases, Democratic organizers submitted around 150% of the required number of signatures, so it’s unlikely that the petitions will be invalidated on those grounds. If Democrats are successful in recalling even one Wisconsin Republican, it’ll be an enormous victory for the pro-union movement, which launched the recall campaign last month in response to Governor Scott Walker’s union-busting “budget-repair” bill.