Posts Tagged ‘recalls


‘this is what democracy looks like’

John Nichols (The Nation): The Wisconsin recall elections that take place Tuesday provide one of the most remarkable accountability moments in modern American history. After Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his Republican allies used their control of the executive and legislative branches of state government to attack labor rights, local democracy, public education and basic services, mass demonstrations erupted across the state—culminating in an early-March protest outside the state Capitol that drew 150,000 people to one of the largest pro-labor demonstrations in American history.

Despite the protests, despite polls that showed broad opposition to the governor’s agenda, Walker’s legislative allies continued to advance their wrecking-crew agenda.

So the Wisconsin movement dusted off an old accountability tool developed during the era of Populist and Progressive reform in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: the recall. Wisconsin is one of nineteen American states that allow citizens to collect signatures on petitions and force sitting official to face a special election.

In Wisconsin, six of the Republican state senators who voted with Walker face recall elections on Tuesday. While the labor and community forces that organized the recall drives had little trouble collecting the tens of thousands of signatures needed to force the election, they faced unprecedented obstacles in getting to this point.

Terrified by the threat to his authority, Walker and his allies tried to thwart the recall drive with procedural, legal and electoral challenges—going so far as to file “fake” Democratic challengers, all of whom lost to real Democrats in July 12 primaries. Walker allies also launched recall drives against a half-dozen Democratic senators, on the theory that defeating Democrats might allow them to offset losses by Republicans. (Only three of the Republican petition drives attracted sufficient support to force recalls of Democrats; one of the targeted Democrats has already been re-elected, while two others face tests August 16.)

With the approach of Tuesday’s election, Walker’s allies in national movements to privatize public schools, undermine unions and create a pay-to-play politics that favors corporate interests over those of citizens and communities have pumped millions of dollars into local elections with an eye toward defeating the Democratic challenges…..

Full post here


this is what happens when the gop get the keys back….

Protestors looks through a door being blocked by police officers at the Wisconsin  State Capitol on March 9. The Wisconsin Republican Senators voted to curb collective bargaining rights for public union workers in a surprise vote with no Democrats present.

Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (Dem): “In 30 minutes, 18 state senators undid 50 years of civil rights in Wisconsin.”

Mike Tate, chairman of the Wisconsin Democrats responds:  “Using tactics that trample on the traditions of our Legislature, the Republican leadership has betrayed our state. Republicans have rubber-stamped the desire of the Koch Brothers and their godshead Scott Walker to cripple Wisconsin’s middle class and lower benefits and wages for every single wage-earner in our state. The vote does nothing to create jobs, does nothing to strengthen our state, and shows finally and utterly that this never was about anything but raw political power. We now put our total focus on recalling the eligible Republican senators who voted for this heinous bill. And we also begin counting the days remaining before Scott Walker is himself eligible for recall.”


Ezra Klein: …Wisconsin Republicans took the drastic step of breaking up the budget repair bill and passing only a measure rolling back the collective bargaining rights of public employees. A committee removed some parts of the bill, allowing Republicans to pass it by a simple majority, without missing Dems, and it’s expected to pass the Assembly….

….This kind of conduct is exactly what recalls are for … This latest move is in direct contradiction of a recent pledge by the head of Wisconsin senate Republicans not to pass the bill without Democrats present. By treating the collective bargaining piece as a non-fiscal provision, Republicans have also revealed that Walker’s repeated claims that the anti-union push was all about the budget to be a complete falsehood…..

…And then there’s the prank Koch call, where he repeatedly laughed along as someone he took to be a major donor talked about planting troublemakers among protestors and suggested bringing a bat to his next meeting with Dems. The record here is really striking in its misconduct.

…Republicans blindly following Walker have pulled a stunt that will only exacerbate grassroots anger in Wisconsin and leave national unions and liberal groups no alternative but to pour everything they have into recall drives. National Republicans can’t be happy about this overreach: It has galvanized the labor movement, allowed it to restate its case to the public, given Obama an easy way to mend fences with unions, and complicated GOP outreach to blue collar whites in key swing states and districts heading into 2012.

This is exactly the sort of conduct that justifies recalls. This will only escalate from here on out.

Full article here







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February 2023