Update on Wisconsin: Recalls and Elections and Challenges, oh my!
May 9, 2011 2 Comments
It’s important to keep up with what has been going on in this state, now that national media attention on the protests in the capitol has waned. The recall petition results are in. The Wisconsin GOP are trying to push major pieces of legislation through before the recall elections. The Republican National Committee is planning on making Wisconsin one of their target battlegrounds for the 2012 elections.
Enough signatures have been gathered to put up six of the eight Republicans for a recall election:
Robert Cowles (Green Bay)
Alberta Darling (River Hills)
Sheila Harsdorf (River Falls)
Randy Hopper (Fond du Lac)
Dan Kapanke (La Crosse)
Luther Olson (Ripon)
Republicans managed to get enough signatures for only three Democrats:
Challenges are ongoing for every petition–Republicans are charging that Democrats didn’t file the proper papers with the state, and Democrats are charging ethical violations–that some signers aren’t residents of the state Senators’ districts, that others were misled, that other signers were bribed, and still others were outright faked. The Government Accountability Board will consider these claims, and will decide whether to throw out petitions, or declare the recall elections can proceed.
Meanwhile, Walker and his band of merry men is frantically trying to pass a slew of legislation, anticipating a Democratic majority in the Senate after the recall elections expected to take place this summer. Here is a quick list of their agenda:
Legalization of concealed weapons
Deregulation of the telephone industry
Require voters to show photo identification at the polls
Expand school vouchers
Undo an early release for prisoners
The Wisconsin GOP may try to, again, strip public employees of the right to organize, the very thing that sparked the protests and the recall efforts.
Because of this challenge, the successful protest, the recalls of six Republican state Senators, the GOP is planning on making Wisconsin a battleground state in the 2012 elections. I believe this would have happened anyway, but the national GOP is going to flood out of state dollars, ads, and volunteers to influence Wisconsin voters, in an attempt to counter the success of the month long protests of hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites.