Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Recall in WI continues to gain steam

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Folks, this is encouraging news for those of us in Wisconsin who can’t abide what Governor Scott Walker and 18 of the 19 state Senate Republicans have done to our state since the first of this year.

Note that the writer of this article is Markos Moulitas, who owns the Daily Kos; he is obviously a partisan Democrat, yet this is a non-partisan article that explains where the polling lies currently in the eight districts where active recall efforts are occurring at present.  This article also states that the Democrats have already obtained 45% of the signatures in two weeks to recall all eight Republican state Senators eligible to be recalled right now.

The two guys that look like they’ll definitely lose are Randy Hopper and Dan Kapanke.  But after that, things get tougher for the Dems . . . or do they?

This particular story says that Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, is currently beating a generic Dem. challenger by 8%.  However, the guy who’d challenge her is already known — it’s Sheldon Wasserman, who is a former Assemblymen (Wisconsin’s lower house), and he only lost to her by about 1000 votes in 2008.

My thought here is that the students at Marquette most likely were not polled as they mostly have cell phones (and anything from a dormitory which might be a landline probably wouldn’t be polled anyway), and I know those students are fired up.   I believe every Democratic activist on campus and off in Milwaukee has told every student who attends any college or university in Wisconsin to make sure to file for an absentee ballot to vote in these recall elections — and they certainly would do so for those students in residence at Marquette who live out of state (or even elsewhere in the state where no recall is occurring).  Getting an absentee ballot is quite legal, and asking for one in advance, while rare, isn’t unheard of — often it’s soldiers who get these — and in any event, getting the information in advance as to how to request an absentee ballot is always a good idea whether you’re in a recall district or not.

Anyway, my hunch is that the polling is really wrong regarding Ms. Darling.  As stated, she only won by about 1000 votes the last time she ran; people are enraged now, and many Republicans are mad at her because she was the person who ran the committee in the state Senate which let that awful “budget repair bill” out of the committee and into the whole Senate.  Note that it’s not just Democrats and Independents who are furious with her; many rank-and-file Republicans are angry, too, because she’s the one who had all the power in the world — she could’ve stopped this very easily early on, saying that this bill was too much, too soon, or at any rate took too much power away from the Senate/legislative branch and gave it to Walker and the executive branch instead.  But she didn’t.

My hunch remains that Alberta Darling will be the first one recalled, and that she will be recalled because she screwed up so badly by refusing to just kill the bill at the committee level.

And all the Dems need is three Rs to lose their seats . . . as Markos Moulitsas says, the Dems are in striking distance of six of these seats right now (including Alberta Darling’s), with only Mary Lazich and Glenn Grothman, for the moment, appearing safe.

But what that doesn’t reflect is this: Grothman, providing they get the signatures to force him to a recall, and Lazich too, may be primaried by other Republicans.  Meaning they may well be gone when it comes time to a general election against a Democrat or Independent; if they aren’t gone by then, my hunch would be an Independent would be likely to knock off Grothman or Lazich because once again, people are furious and people want some legislators who will really represent them at the state level — not just rubber stamp legislation because Scott Walker tells them to do so.

Until these polls start asking in those two districts whether other Republicans or perhaps a conservative-leaning Independent has a shot against Grothman or Lazich, I will continue to believe that even in these “reddest of the red” Republican districts, those Senators are likely to end up going home for good.  Because you cannot underestimate the fury in Wisconsin, and as John Nichols and another commentator (a woman who works for Grit-TV; sorry, I can’t recall her name) recently said on Ed Schultz’s MSNBC show, “The only thing that trumps big money is a fired-up populace, especially at the grass-roots level.”  (Then both of them, Nichols and the other lady, said that they have never seen an electorate more fired-up across the entire state of Wisconsin than what we have right now.  And that in their opinions, it’s likely all eight of these Senators will face recall elections.)

Finally, here is Moulitsas’s opinion regarding Scott Walker’s fate:

As for Walker, state law requires an elected official to have served one year before being recalled, which means the governor has a reprieve until January 2012. But it’s pretty clear he’ll get his turn.

And it will be fitting, because Walker has done more to activate Democrats than anyone since George W. Bush scurried back to Texas.

I agree with him, and wish to once again state for the record that many other Republican state Senators who were elected in 2010 will be recalled and replaced (by Dems or possibly Independents, and maybe even a different Republican or two in the “reddest” districts) along with Walker, including my own state Senator, Van Wanggaard, because they have refused to listen to their own constituents and that, my friends, is a no-no that’s way too big to ignore.

I can’t wait to sign the recall petitions.  (Hurry up, November!)

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