Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for the ‘Wisconsin Recall Petitions’ Category

WI GAB Agrees 4 Senate Recalls Should Go Forward

leave a comment »

Folks, there was one story tonight that demanded my attention: the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board has agreed that there were more than enough valid signatures submitted to recall Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and State Senators Terry Moulton, Pam Galloway, and Racine’s own Van Wanggaard.  All four are Republican legislators, and all four will face recall elections in the coming months (the current GAB estimate is May).

Here’s a link to the story:

But these figures are what should concern you, to wit: how many recall signatures were actually struck by the GAB after the Republicans challenged them?

The Committee to Recall Scott Fitzgerald submitted “about” 20,735 petitions to recall him; 16742 were required.  The GAB recommended that 867 signatures be struck, which leaves more than enough signatures to recall him.  (Note that the 867 signatures to be struck is less than 5% of the total signatures, which is considered to be a good percentage; this means the recall petitioners, all volunteers, did their best to make sure recall petitions were only signed by people who were eligible to sign.)

The Committee to Recall Van Wanggaard submitted 23,712 signatures; 15,353 were required.  The GAB said 643 should be struck, including 11 signatures that apparently were gathered fraudulently by a well-known Racine Republican, Mark Demet (he’s not named in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article, but the Racine Journal-Times has talked about the problems with Demet here); those latter signatures have been challenged by the Racine County Sheriff’s Department and charges have been filed against Demet.   Obviously, there are more than enough signatures to recall Van Wanggaard and the recall will go forward.  (And look at the percentage, again, of the signatures that were struck; here we’re talking about something like 3% of the total were invalid.  Obviously the Rs were hoping for more invalid signatures than this.)

The Committee to Recall Pam Galloway submitted 21,022 signatures to recall her; 15647 were needed.  The GAB said 1,658 should be struck.  More than enough signatures remain to force a valid recall election (and once again, this is under 10% of the total, which is an excellent percentage).

The Committee to Recall Terry Moulton submitted 20,907 signatures; 14,958 were needed.  The GAB said that 1,212 signatures should be struck, which leaves more than enough valid signatures to force a recall election (again, under 10% of the signatures were declared invalid).

So the first hurdle has been crossed; let the Senatorial recalls begin!

Written by Barb Caffrey

March 9, 2012 at 11:59 pm

WI Recall Petitions: Far More than Enough to Recall Walker, Kleefisch, and Wanggaard

with 2 comments

Today’s Wisconsin recall update is as follows, folks:

  • Over 1 million signatures have been turned in to recall Governor Scott Walker.  (Approximately 540,000 were needed)
  • Over 800,000 signatures have been turned in to recall Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch.  (Approximately 540,000 were needed)
  • Over 24,000 signatures have been turned in to recall State Senator Van Wangaaard (R-Racine).  (Approximately 15,000 signatures were needed.)

Please see this link from today’s online version of the Racine Journal-Times for further details.

As for how these numbers compare?  Well, with over 1 million signatures, it’s highly likely Scott Walker is going to be facing recall; considering recall organizers got nearly twice as many signatures statewide as needed, it seems very, very likely that Walker will be recalled and replaced no matter who his opponent is.

With regards to Rebecca Kleefisch, the main reason there weren’t quite as many people willing to sign to get her out (though still quite a high number at an estimated 845,000) is because she’s a cancer survivor, a former anchorwoman for one of the biggest news stations in the state (WISN-TV in Milwaukee, WI), and because as a few men of my acquaintance have said in the past, “What a shame about her politics; she’s cute.”  (For the conservative men of my acquaintance, let me point out that Lt. Gov. Kleefisch is also Mrs. Joel Kleefisch, as she’s married to a state Assemblyman.)

As for Wanggaard, the fact that 24,000 people signed to get him out is historic; I believe this is more than the amount of signatures that had been gathered to recall George Petak (R-Racine) in 1996, and Petak was indeed successfully recalled and replaced by then-Democratic Assemblywoman Kim Plache.  (I wrote about that historic election here.)  While this isn’t nearly twice as many signatures as needed as seen in the statewide Walker recall, it is still a very high number of people who were willing to sign to get Wanggaard out of office.   (If I were him, I’d be quite worried.)

As for what State Senator Wanggaard has to say about it?  From a different article at today’s online Racine Journal-Times:

Wanggaard, R-Racine, said in a press release that for union bosses and Democrats today marks the start of the “do-over of their loss in the November 2010 elections.”

While others focus on recalls and politics, Wanggaard “will continue to focus on my efforts to help Wisconsin create and retain good-paying jobs,” he said in the release. “Recalls and further division do nothing to show job creators that Wisconsin has a stable business environment and continues to poison the well of politics.”

So did you catch that?  Wanggaard says that people are trying to “do over” the 2010 elections.  By doing so, he’s attempting to belittle the organizers of the recall effort against him, but it’s not going to work.  (And notice, Wanggaard didn’t say anything about how “the people have spoken, but I intend to win them over,” which would’ve made far more sense and wouldn’t have demeaned those who’d signed the petitions against him.)

But at least Wanggaard commented at all (even if it was by a press release); so far, both Walker and Kleefisch have been unavailable for comment.

Oh, one more thing; it appears that State Senators Moulton and Galloway, and the biggest fish of them all, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, have also had more than enough signatures turned in to recall them.  So all six recalls have completed their first phase; now it’s on to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board and the courts to first verify the signatures, then figure out when the recall elections will be scheduled.  (As always, I’ll keep you posted.)


Personal note:  This is bittersweet, as I really want to talk with my friend Jeff about all this.  He knew I was active in helping Bob Wirch (D-Kenosha) retain Wirch’s seat; he knew I was planning to help work on the recall petitions against Walker, Kleefisch and Wanggaard.  And he was very much in favor of this, because he felt all three of them deserved to be recalled — he even said so in our last conversation on 11/11/11.

I very much wish Jeff were still alive just so I could tell him about all this; even though I couldn’t do very much due to Jeff’s sudden death (nowhere near as much as I’d hoped or planned to do), I did gather some signatures and I did, personally, sign the petitions to recall all three individuals.  I hope, wherever he is now, that he knows I did my best to get these three people removed from office, and that he’s happy that all three will, indeed, face recall.

And I’ll not even start on my feelings about how I wish I could tell my late husband Michael about all this, too.  Because I know that he, too, would’ve been in favor; he’d probably have called this a “classic overreach” and have signed right along with me. 

Randolph Brandt is right: Recall Van Wanggaard. Now.

with 2 comments

Folks, Randolph Brandt is mad at my state Senator, Van Wanggaard (R-Racine), and he’s not afraid to say so.  In a recent op-ed published by the Racine Journal-Times, Brandt excoriates Wanggaard for many of the same reasons I have, including:

  • Being a former police union member and voting against collective bargaining.
  • Being a former police union representative, yet still voting against collective bargaining.
  • Criticizing the practice of “double-dipping” (where someone takes a pension in two places from various state entities), while benefiting from that self-same practice himself.
  • Stripped $2M of expected state tax revenue from the City of Racine, meaning the City must either raise taxes or cut services (or, as seems to be the case, both).
  • Cut over $16M aid to Racine’s public school system.
  • Voted for district 21 to be “redistricted” as Racine and Kenosha counties, which usually tend to vote for Republicans, and district 22 to be comprised of the Cities of Racine and Kenosha, which tend to vote for Democrats.

All of this is bad enough, but the fact that Wanggaard doesn’t seem to see any of it as a problem is quite distressing.  Brandt states:

Under a gerrymandered redistricting plan approved by the Republicans and scheduled to go into effect with the November elections, Sen. Wanggaard was to be rewarded with a nice, safe, new Republican-dominated district that’s designed to excise the City of Racine from its new boundaries.

With this plan, your supposed state senator, Van Wanggaard, won’t represent you at all anymore. He’ll exchange the Racine voters he’s failed to support in favor of a whole bunch of new voters in western Kenosha County instead.

Basically, he’ll desert us, the citizens of Racine, leaving us to suffer for his poor decisions.

As I’ve been saying this for months now, it’s good to know that at least one newspaperman agrees with me.  (Brandt is the former editor of the Racine Journal-Times.)  Brandt’s commentary explains what voters should do to Wanggaard (in essence, why Wanggaard should be recalled), and concludes with the following:

Don’t stand by and watch him be rewarded for this faithlessness to his Racine constituents, the Racine voters who helped elect him in the first place.

Stop him before he skips town, across that new, safe border he voted to establish for himself, just as he once negotiated the union contract that now pays his Racine city pension. Stop him, before he gets away, reneging on his civic debt to you, for you to pay yourself.

Recall Sen. Wanggaard while you still can, before he gets away with it, before he walks away, laughing at you — the citizens of Racine — well knowing he’s left you holding the bag, for his city pension, for his budget cuts, and for his hypocrisy. 

So, did you catch all that?  Brandt criticizes Wanggaard for Wanggaard’s hypocrisy — something I have railed against for months — and points out to the voters of Racine County that Wanggaard’s own actions have brought Wanggaard to this point, which is certainly the case.

You see, many people in Racine knew Van Wanggaard because Wanggaard was a long-time city policeman.  Then Wanggaard was a County Supervisor.  And finally, in a heavily Republican year, he squeaked out an election and won the state Senate seat — mostly because people felt they knew Wanggaard and that he wouldn’t vote against the best economic interests of the City of Racine.

Yet that wasn’t the case, was it?

Racine is still locked in a cycle of extremely high unemployment (we’ve been either first or second in the state, unemployment-wise, for years now), and Wanggaard hasn’t exactly done much about it except pay it some lip service.  Yet Wanggaard has had a full year in office to have tried to do something — economic development, a bit of extra state aid, something — and he hasn’t done one blessed thing.

This is why I’ve heard from so many people in Racine, City and County, who’ve said variations on the theme of, “I expected better from Van.”  Or, “What is Wanggaard’s problem?  Doesn’t he realize we’re suffering?  Doesn’t he care?”

I don’t know whether Wanggaard realizes it, cares about it, or whether we should’ve expected better from him.  But I do know this: I was very proud to sign my name to Wanggaard’s recall petition, and I was glad to gather some signatures (not as many as I’d hoped) on behalf of his recall. 

I fully expect that Wanggaard not only will be forced to a recall election, but he will be replaced by a Democrat once the recall election is called (probably former state Senator John Lehman, though no one has officially announced his/her candidacy as of yet), staged, and counted.

As he’s sown, so will he reap — and in this case, Wanggaard has reaped the whirlwind.  As Senator Wanggaard deserves all of what is about to befall him, I cannot feel sorry for him.

Oh, yes.  One more thing:  May I be the first, Senator, to wish you well in your impending retirement from public life?


Note:  From unofficial sources, it looks like state Senators Galloway and Moulton also will be recalled, while there’s still a chance to recall Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.  All signatures must be gathered by Saturday at 11:59 PM, so all I can say to those trying to recall Fitz is, “Good luck, God/dess bless, and may the wind be at your back.”

And, of course, Governor Scott Walker and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch will be recalled — easily — as I fully expect upwards of 850,000 apiece to recall (when 540,000 was the number required by law, that being 1/4 of the total vote of the last gubernatorial election) to be turned in on January 17, 2012 — four days from now.  I’ll keep you posted.

Written by Barb Caffrey

January 13, 2012 at 9:30 pm

2011: My Year in Review (the Good, the Bad, and the Incredibly Sad)

leave a comment »

Everyone’s doing a “2011 Year in Review” column; at some places, like Shiny Book Review, this makes more sense (there, we did a “best of 2011” piece; check it out here).  So I thought I’d do one, too, incorporating most of what went on that’s fit to print that made any sort of impact on my life whatsoever.

Note that as Shiny Book Review has already been covered, I’m not going to say much about it here; I enjoyed posting reviews in 2011, and I will continue to do the same in 2012.

As far as fiction writing goes, I estimate that I wrote about 150,000 words on various projects.  I completed a new chapter and a half of CHANGING FACES; this will be finished in 2012.  I wrote a new chapter and revised five chapters of KEISHA’S VOW, an ELFY prequel set in 1954.  I wrote a new chapter and a half and revised six chapters of AN ELFY ABROAD, the direct sequel to ELFY.  I did my best to find an agent, but found no takers.

As far as editing goes, I was pleased to edit six different books — one on conventions and careers, four medical books (including one anthology), and one science fiction novel.  More editing is planned for the New Year.

Now, let’s get to the month-by-month breakdown of other events.

January 2011: 

New Republican Governor Scott Walker takes office, turns down federal railroad funds (following through on his election promise to do so), vows to work with everyone, etc.  (Too bad that last was all talk.)

“Joey Maverick: On Westmount Station” published at e-Quill Publishing (with Michael B. Caffrey).  This is the first piece of writing in Michael’s universe sold in over five years; I wrote over half of this story, but it continues to go under Michael’s name as an editorial decision by e-Quill’s publisher as it’s a continuing series.  (I’m sure Michael wouldn’t have approved, but there’s nothing to be done.  My name is on it as the secondary writer and there’s a permanent link to this story on this blog’s sidebar.)

Green Bay Packers blow through post-season, winning the National Football Conference championship.  Will represent NFC in the Super Bowl.

January 8:  United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) shot in the head by crazed gunman; she miraculously survives and recovers.  Several staff-members and innocent bystanders killed, including U.S. District Judge John Roll.  Gunman in police custody.

February 2011: 

February 6:  Packers win Super Bowl XLV. 

February 11:   Scott Walker vows to eliminate collective bargaining for all public employee unions (including teachers, nurses, and snowplow drivers, among others) except for fire and police personnel.  A firestorm of protest follows; the fourteen Democratic state Senators (“Wisconsin 14”) flee the state in order to deny the Legislature a quorum to keep the Republican-dominated Senate from passing a companion bill to the quickly-passed bill from the Republican-dominated Assembly.  The “WI 14” state their reason for doing this as the only way to educate the public as to what this bill will do to the state; more protests ensue.

March 2011: 

Gov. Walker and his allies, including Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon, brother of Scott F.), take to the airwaves urging the WI 14 to return to Wisconsin so Senate Bill 10 (eliminating collective bargaining for all public employee unions, even though the teachers, nurses, etc., have all vowed publicly to take paycuts and give back vacation days and pay more for their health and life insurance providing collective bargaining is left in place) can be passed.

March 9:  Senate strips all financial provisions out of the bill, allowing it to be passed without a quorum.  Only Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) opposes this bill, saying it goes too far; the Senate passes this motion 18-1.

March 12:  WI 14 returns to state to loud acclaim from most; some vow to recall their sitting state Senators from both parties.

April 2011: 

Milwaukee Brewers start their season.

Vinny Rottino starts season with New Orleans Zephyrs of the Pacific Coast League (affiliated with the Florida Marlins, prior to the Marlins’ name change).

JoAnne Kloppenburg loses state Supreme Court race to incumbent David Prosser by less than 1/2 of 1% of the vote.  Recount commences.

April 21:  Recall petitions filed for nine Senators, six Republicans and three Democrats.  Elections scheduled for three different days; the first is held in mid-July.

May 2011:

Rottino has a fantastic month for the Zephyrs. 

Brewers are still rounding into form. 

Looking forward to recall elections. 

Receive praise but no sales for three separate pieces of writing.

May 1:  Osama bin Laden killed, at long last.

May 23: Recount confirms David Prosser as winner of state Supreme Court seat.  JoAnne Kloppenburg decides not to sue; eventually seeks seat on state’s Appellate Court.

June 2011:

Observe my ninth wedding anniversary, the seventh spent alone since Michael’s untimely death in 2004.

Waiting avidly for recall elections.

July 2011: 

Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, and Rickie Weeks elected to represent the Brewers at the All-Star Game.  Braun is on the disabled list; does not play.  Minor controversy ensues as closer John Axford, having an excellent season, is not named to the All-Star team, nor is Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo.

Observe my late husband’s birthday even though, were he alive, he’d have taken no notice of the event.  (Michael counted unBirthdays instead, as there were a whole lot more of them, thus more to celebrate.)

Vinny Rottino makes the AAA All-Star team for the first time since 2008.

July 19: Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) is easily retained in his recall election.

July 31: Debt-ceiling crisis legislation is signed by President Obama.  Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) claims victory.  Most people unimpressed; Congress’s approval rating falls to new lows, and the President’s approval rating takes a hit, too.

August 2011:

Observe my birthday, though my best friend Jeff is many states away and my husband is long dead, so I wonder what the point is.

August 9: Two Republican state Senators, Dan Kapanke (La Crosse) and Randy Hopper (Fond du Lac) are ousted in recall elections.  Another four Republican state Senators, Alberta Darling (River Hills), Robert Cowles (Green Bay), Sheila Harsdorf (River Falls) and Luther Olsen (Ripon) are retained.

August 16:  Both Democratic Senators up for recall, Bob Wirch of Kenosha and Jim Holperin of Conover, are easily retained.  Status of nine recalls:  Two Rs lost their seats, while four Rs were retained.  All three Ds were retained.  Wisconsin state Senate stands at 17 Rs and 16 Ds.

September 2011: 

Vinny Rottino’s fine AAA season is rewarded by a September call-up from the Florida Marlins.  He plays in several games, mostly as a pinch hitter or in the outfield.  Gets a few hits.

Occupy Wall Street (soon to be Occupy Everywhere) movement starts.

Tenth anniversary of 9/11/01. 

Observed the seventh anniversary of Michael’s last day of life on 9/21/11. 

Late September: Jeff falls ill but does not go to the doctor. 

September 28: Milwaukee Brewers win first National League Central division title in history, make post-season play for first time since 2008.  Hopes are high.  John Axford sets single-season saves record with 46 and most saves successfully converted in a row with 42.

October 2011:

October 7:  Brewers win first post-season series against Arizona Diamondbacks (3-2).

mid-October:  Jeff is taken to the hospital and is quickly transferred to the best specialty hospital in Northern Colorado.  Bacterial endocarditis is the diagnosis.  I don’t find out about it until he’s been in the hospital seven days (fortunately he told a good friend there how to get a hold of me).  He nearly dies on the table due to open-heart surgery, something I don’t find out until nearly two days afterward.  He’s unable to talk for nearly two weeks and is mostly unresponsive to stimuli.  Death seems near.

October 16:  Brewers lose National League Championship series to eventual World Series champs St. Louis Cardinals; I’m more obsessed with Jeff’s condition and say so.

October 20:  Moammar Qaddafi, dictator of Libya, killed.  This, too, barely registers.

November 2011:

Jeff slowly starts to get better, regaining his powers of speech and mobility.  Cannot read well, which vexes him as a longtime, avid reader — and cannot write or create, which vexes him as a writer.  He improves so much he’s transferred to a long-term rehabiliation place (I talk with him every night he’s able, which basically is every single night).

However, Jeff only lives for four days after he’s transferred to rehab; in our last conversation on November 11, he tells me he’s exhausted and wondering when he’s going to get better, though he’s mostly upbeat.  Inwardly, I cheer that he has enough energy to mildly complain; I look forward to our next phone call, which was to be on November 12 at 7:45 p.m MST.

November 12:  At 7 p.m. MST, Jeff has a massive stroke and is taken back to the specialty hospital.  I don’t find out about this until November 13; all I know at the time is that Jeff hasn’t answered his phone, and I’m not able to get anyone at the rehab place to find out why.

November 13:  Get call from Jeff’s brother, Randy; Jeff is dead.  The stroke killed him.  His parents were with him when he died. 

None of this comforts me at all, as I’d been hoping somehow to get out to him to visit and cheer him up. 

His death, which a few weeks ago had seemed imminent, now seems like an extremely bad joke made by an unloving, uncaring Deity; Jeff had worked so hard to regain his speech and mobility, and could reason and think.  His personality and most of his memories were intact.  He deserved a lot more time, to fully recover, and for him and I to be able to see each other, bare minimum.  To say that I find this monstrously unfair is a severe understatement.

November 15:  Wrote a poem for Jeff, in memoriam.  I hope he’d have enjoyed it (poem is below).

November 21:  Jeff would’ve turned 48 today, had he lived.  Instead, his memorial service is called in Fort Collins, Colorado, and I’m unable to go due to financial considerations (I will regret this to the end of my life, and probably afterward). 

I start to slowly come to terms with the fact that the best friend I’ve ever had, save only my late husband Michael, is dead.  (Jeff was my staunchest supporter as a writer and poet who gave well-thought out, helpful criticism.)  I find out that Jeff was writing a novel, which he’d never shown me (though he had shown me six in-progress short stories, various pieces of non-fiction, and other writing, all of it excellent), at the time of his passing.  Now, none of his writing will ever be completed.

I reflect upon Jeff’s compassion, which was probably his strongest and best quality besides his high intelligence and creativity.  I reflect upon the fact that six years ago, I had no idea our friendship would grow to the point that he was my acknowledged best friend . . . who knows where it would’ve gone, had he lived?  (Now, I will never know, and that’s a sadness I can’t even begin to express, were I to write from now until the end of time.)  I’m grateful for the time I had with him, but I really wish there had been more of it because if anyone deserved more, it was Jeff.

I wonder, again, what the point is, when I can’t even get to see my best friend before he dies, then can’t get to his funeral, either, when I dearly wanted to do both things.  (Financial considerations be damned.)

Other stuff:

November 15:  Recall petitions to oust Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Kleefisch, and Racine’s state Senator Van Wanggaard (all Rs) are filed.  I’d been looking forward to this for months, but due to Jeff’s death, it barely registers.  Did sign the recall forms and get a few signatures, as Jeff was very strongly in favor of all of these people being recalled (we talked of this on November 11, and he’s the one who brought it up — as I said, his mind was intact and it was sharp); I tell myself that he’d be happy I was doing something I’d looked forward to, and try to be content with that even though I know I’ll never hear his voice again.

Ryan Braun wins NL Most Valuable Player award.  Prince Fielder departs in free agency (is currently unsigned).

Vinny Rottino signs a minor league free-agent contract with the New York Mets; he will be invited to Spring Training.

December 2011: 

December 13:  Play first concert in thirteen years as a member of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Community Band; I play a lengthy, extended solo in Valerie Coleman’s composition, “Roma.”   My sister is in the audience, and says I haven’t lost a thing.  (I like to think that both Michael and Jeff were listening, too, from wherever they are in the positive afterlife.  I hope they were pleased.)

mid-December:  Ryan Braun accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs; he appeals this decision and proclaims his innocence.  (For the record, I believe him.)

December 17:  North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il dies.

Just before Christmas:  Federal government plunges into yet another crisis when House of Representatives initially refuses to extend the payroll tax cut.  Speaker Boehner adamantly defends his party, which includes many hard-right Rs self-identifying as “Tea Party” members, but is eventually talked around due to public statements made by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), former George W. Bush advisor Karl Rove, and a strongly-worded Wall Street Journal editorial advising him to just give in already.  Congress adjourns and goes home for the holidays.

Winter holidays commence; once again, I wonder what the point is.  The present I’d bought for my friend Jeff gathers dust as I can’t bear to put it away, nor can I part with it; the musical composition I’m working on to commemorate Jeff’s life and death is, at best, half-finished at 64 bars.   I’m told by a couple of poets I respect that my poem for Jeff won’t stand alone, thus has no chance of independent publication — which is why it’s here, so you all can read it and think about it, instead.

Note that this is a very formal way of writing, which is quite different from my usual, free-form style.  I wanted to impose some sort of structure on my shock, which is why I came up with this particular poem.  And while I believe this is among the most important pieces of writing I’ve ever created, it’s something I profoundly wish I’d not have had to do — much less this soon.

Here goes . . . but before I forget, Happy New Year, everyone.

*********** POETRY SEPARATOR ***********

“A Poem for Jeff Wilson — in Memoriam”

by Barb Caffrey


One who seeks is

one who asks

the questions that

no one else dares.


One who seeks is

one who finds

the answers, which are



One who waits is

one who looks

for love, creeping

in unawares . . . .


One who waits is

one who hopes

for light, which breaks

the dark forever.


One who waits is

one who seeks

out answers, or

merely himself.

——– written November 15, 2011

Politics, US and Wisconsin-style — A Big, Fat Mess

with 4 comments

Tonight’s post is about what’s been going on in politics — but as time is of a premium, let me sum it up for you in four words: a big, fat mess.

Look at the national political scene, for example.  Yesterday Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) said that the House “would not pass” the two-month extension to the payroll tax holiday (something that saves the average worker $40 per paycheck, as was Tweeted ad nauseum with the hash-tag #40bucks).  Boehner stood firm after this Wall Street Journal staff editorial saying the deal was a no-brainer; as the editorial said:

GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell famously said a year ago that his main task in the 112th Congress was to make sure that President Obama would not be re-elected. Given how he and House Speaker John Boehner have handled the payroll tax debate, we wonder if they might end up re-electing the President before the 2012 campaign even begins in earnest.

The GOP leaders have somehow managed the remarkable feat of being blamed for opposing a one-year extension of a tax holiday that they are surely going to pass. This is no easy double play.

Republicans have also achieved the small miracle of letting Mr. Obama position himself as an election-year tax cutter, although he’s spent most of his Presidency promoting tax increases and he would hit the economy with one of the largest tax increases ever in 2013. This should be impossible.

As the editorial goes on to state, the House had voted to kill the payroll tax “holiday” on Tuesday — the exact, same bill that the Senate had passed on a bipartisan basis with an 89-10 vote — by a 229-193 highly partisan vote (meaning the Rs were mostly against; the Dems were largely for it).  Speaker Boehner was standing firm, so he said, because he felt the Democrats hadn’t negotiated in good faith, but the Republican leadership (at least, anyone who isn’t currently sitting in the United States House of Representatives) en masse told Boehner he was wrong.

For example, here’s what George W. Bush’s main advisor, Karl Rove, had to say last evening (via this TalkingPointsMemo article, which quotes Rove from an appearance on the Fox News Channel yesterday — that is, Wednesday, December 21, 2011):

“I think the Wall Street journal editorial today hit it on the nail,” Rove said Wednesday on Fox News.

So today, Thursday, December 22, 2011, Speaker Boehner had to give in.  He did so as graciously as he possibly could, but facts are facts; Boehner got his hat handed to him, and he’s likely to end up resigning as Speaker soon because he’s totally lost control of his caucus.  And in so doing, he’s hurt his party, he’s hurt his party’s chances for winning the 2012 elections (from the Presidency on down), and he’s definitely hurt himself; these things are what tends to make a current Speaker a former Speaker, in short order, one way or another — and it’s far easier to resign than to be removed in disgrace.  (And if you resign, you get the lovely “perks” that come with being a former Speaker — I’m not sure if you do if you are replaced, though it’s likely you still would.  But it would still look better for Boehner if he just got out ASAP, and it probably would be a great deal better for his physical health.  He truly did not look well today in his press conference.)

Tomorrow, the House will meet and attempt to pass the two-month extension of the payroll tax “holiday” by unanimous acclamation.  If that doesn’t happen, I haven’t a clue what will happen next.

But I do know that the American public doesn’t like stalemates like this when political theatre threatens to interfere with real people’s lives, and they tend to hold the party who instigated such a thing responsible.  In 2009, the Dems had several highly partisan fights, mostly over health care, and in 2010, they paid for it at the ballot box; now, it’s 2011, and the Rs have had several highly partisan fights, mostly over the payroll tax and the debt ceiling issues . . . my guess is that unless they get their collective house in order, fast, they, too, are likely to pay for it at the ballot box.

Now to Wisconsin’s recent political news.  We continue the fight to recall our Governor, Scott Walker (R), our Lieutenant Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch (R), and four state Senators, including my very own Van Wanggaard (R-Racine).   It was reported about a week ago that there are nearly enough signatures to recall Scott Walker, as 507,000 valid signatures (by real Wisconsin voters, no signatures of “Mickey Mouse” or “Adolf Hitler” as has been alleged by some Republican leaders, including state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), himself a target of a well-funded recall election).  

Note that 507,000 valid signatures have been gathered in one month; those of us working on the recall effort (including me) have another full month left in which to get signatures.  And the efforts to recall Kleefisch, Wanggaard, and Fitzgerald (among others) continue unabated; it looks good that all six Republicans targeted for recall will indeed have to face the voters in 2012 for this option: will they be retained, or will they instead be replaced?

Tempers remain high in Wisconsin.  We’re frustrated by a weak economy, months of negative job “growth” (in other words, we have big, big job losses here and little actual growth going on), five or six people going for every one job, and more.  Then, we have a Governor who’d rather cause trouble than govern — which is why he’s going to be recalled and replaced — we have Senators who didn’t have the sense they were born with (including my own, Van Wanggaard), and voted for something they should’ve stayed far, far away from (the whole vote on Senate Bill 10 — that is, when they voted to repeal collective bargaining for most public employees, which has caused all sorts of trouble in the state, economically and otherwise).  And we have a Lieutenant Governor in Kleefisch who is either too weak to affect policy in any way so she has to parrot whatever Scott Walker tells her to say, or really, honestly believes what she’s saying — and I’m not sure which is worse.

Look.  I have friends of all political stripes and I am in agreement with some of my R friends in other states when they say spending is out of control and the government should make absolutely certain every nickel is spent wisely and well.  But I am against nonsensical stuff like what Walker, Kleefisch, Fitzgerald and his brother, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (also an R), my Senator, Van Wanggaard, etc., have said and done because there was no reason for it except to do one thing: bust unions, and make it harder to get Walker, et. al., on out of there.

But I have news; we will oust Scott Walker.  We will oust Rebecca Kleefisch.  We will oust Senators Fitzgerald and Wanggaard, all by our quite legal recall method — by getting 1/4 of the total voters in the last, highly-charged election.  We must oust these people in order to restore some sense of fairness and bipartisanship to Wisconsin.  

Wisconsin is not a red state, nor is it a blue state; instead, it is a truly purple state.  That’s why what the radical Rs, led by Scott Walker, have done here is so blatantly offensive to the vast majority of Wisconsinites I’ve talked with — including many, many Rs and Indys — and it’s why I fully expect to see Scott Walker and Van Wanggaard, among others, hitting the unemployment line ASAP.

Walker Recall Petitions hit 300,000 Sigs . . . Walker Recall Petitioners Harassed in Racine

with 2 comments

With the statewide Wisconsin recalls of Governor Scott Walker (R), Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (R), and our local recall of district 21 Senator Van Wanggaard (R), have come problems.  But first, the good news . . . statewide organizers from and the Democratic Party (two separate things) have both reported that over 300,000 recall signatures have been gathered in the first twelve days.

As the story from the Racine Journal-Times says:

People have signed the recall petitions at the rate of about 1,040 per hour, according to United Wisconsin. The group says signatures have been collected from people in all 72 counties in Wisconsin, including:

• 10,033 residents from Columbia County.

• 4,713 in Pierce County.

• 3,698 in Oneida County.

• 16,845 in Eau Claire and Chippewa counties.

• 8,540 in Portage County.

Racine County numbers were not available.

Now, note these numbers; Racine County is more populous than any of those other counties.  Also, all of those counties are known as Republican-leaning or heavily Republican districts . . . which is bad news for Scott Walker and his backers, for sure.

This may be why recall advocates and petitioners, even in Racine County, are now having trouble with people harassing them, stealing signs, and in one case even driving straight at a crowd of people attempting to gather signatures.  (See this story from the Racine Journal-Times for further details.)  As Kelly Gallagher said in the recent Journal-Times article:

Kelly Gallaher, the organizer for the local progressive group Community for Change, said when she was with a group of people on Friday near a laundromat by River Run Family Restaurant, 3616 Northwestern Ave., someone sped directly at a group of organizers. People ran out of the way, she said. “It was that close,” Gallaher said.

Also on Saturday, a driver deliberately backed his vehicle toward people collecting signatures outside All Sports Pub, 3458 Rapids Drive, Gallaher said. That same day, Gallaher said someone threw a big glass of soda or some other drink at a man collecting signatures outside the Social Security Office, 4020 Durand Ave.

“It’s concerning,” Gallaher said. “My biggest fear is that someone is going to get hurt.”

And what have the local Republican Party folks done about this?  Not a whole lot.  While condemning incidents like this (without admitting they actually have happened, mind you), Racine Republican Party Chairman Bill Folk was more concerned about the recall petitioners getting signatures outside local businesses.  From the Journal-Times article (the same one that quoted Gallagher):

While Folk has not heard directly about people harassing people collecting recall signatures, he said he has heard complaints about people collecting signatures on property where they shouldn’t be, which concerns him.

“If they are not getting permission from the business owners, it’s exposing the business owners to a political segment they may or may not agree with,” Folk said. “They are putting a business owner in an awkward situation politically.”

Of course, Gallagher pointed out that at the three businesses she knew of where inappropriate and scary things had happened, the recall petitioners did have permission to be there.   So this was just another attempt by Folk and his Republican colleagues to divert attention from what’s really going on — and that’s sad.

Now, as for some commentary from the peanut gallery (or at least me):
Because I am left-leaning, politically, that doesn’t mean I have lost my right to free speech.  As Lieutenant Gary Larsen of the Caledonia Police Department said in the Journal-Times article, you must leave people’s stuff alone if it’s on their property.  And you certainly don’t have the right to drive at a bunch of protestors to “scatter” them — you could hurt someone badly by doing this.
I have always advocated that anyone, providing he or she is peacefully going about his or her business, has a right to protest.  I don’t care if it’s the TEA Party or if it’s Occupy Wall Street or if it’s the Walker/Kleefisch/Wanggaard recall petitioners; we all have a right to peacefully protest without having things thrown at us or without having someone aim a car at us for trying to exercise our rights of free speech and freedom of assembly under the United States Constitution.
See, this is what we’ve endured in Wisconsin since the Scott Walker administration got into power in January of 2011.  This is why many people of all stripes — all creeds, sects, nationalities, genders, and political persuasions — want Walker and his Republican allies, including Van Wanggaard, out.
And it’s definitely why I want them out.  Which is why I’m once again exercising my right to free speech under the U.S. Constitution by pointing out that what’s happened to the petitioners is wrong.  It is shameful.  It should not be allowed to stand.
Recall Walker.  Recall Kleefisch.  Recall Wanggaard.  And for the love of God/dess and little green apples, stop harassing the recall petitioners.

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 29, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Brewers Update, and two novellas by Kate Paulk reviewed by me at SBR

leave a comment »

Folks, I just reviewed two excellent novellas by Kate Paulk, both available at the Naked Reader Press ( — they’re called “Knights in Tarnished Armor” and “Born in Blood,” with the first being a really funny farce written in epistolary style (letters to one another) and the other being a very nice prequel to Paulk’s novel IMPALER, also out from the fine folks at the Naked Reader.

Before I get, here’s a link to my review of those two fine novellas at Shiny Book Review:

Now, as for updates:  Zack Greinke will pitch tomorrow for the first time in the regular season for the Brewers against the Atlanta Braves in the second game of a doubleheader (as Tuesday night’s game was rained out).  This is very good news, and I know I, for one, will be riveted to the television to see how well Greinke pitches.

I also have a political update of sorts; the drive to Recall the Republican 8 netted only six of the Republicans — to wit, the petitions against Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) and Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) both failed.  Grothman’s failed by about 5,000 signatures, while Lazich’s was far closer — apparently they were less than two-thousand signatures short there.

I know some of the folks recalling both the Republicans and a few of the Democrats (though I don’t approve of the latter, as I think the Democratic Wisconsin Senators — often called the “Wisconsin 14” — did the only thing they could in leaving the state for three weeks in order for every citizen of the state to get a chance to read Governor Scott Walker’s “budget-repair bill” for themselves), and I know that folks in the Recall Grothman and Recall Lazich camps needed more resources — they weren’t able to start as soon as the others (from what I could tell, the really big efforts to get both Grothman and Lazich out started about two and a half or three weeks after the others yet had to meet the same deadline) and didn’t have the same monetary resources as both Grothman and Lazich are in heavily Republican districts — yet both found many people willing to sign recall petitions to remove both Lazich and Grothman.  This bodes well for the future, at least so far as getting a decent candidate of some sort to run against both of these Senators . . . Grothman has not fared well in the media, especially due to his famous “slobs” comment (where he called Wisconsin voters, some from his own district, “slobs” for protesting in Madison against Walker’s “budget-repair bill”), and one would hope that he will indeed go down to defeat in 2012 (which is when his, and Lazich’s, seat is set for re-election).

What it looks like to me is, there will be six recall elections from the “recall the Republican 8” push, and there will be one or two or maybe three recall elections from the three Democratic petitions which were turned in.  I am hesitant to say whether or not more than one of those petitions will hold up because in at least one case, a dead person’s name was used and a signature forged on a recall petition against the three Democratic Senators — and I find that disgraceful.

Also, because we have a mandatory recount going on in the recent Wisconsin Supreme Court judicial race, the Government Accountability Board (which oversees that, and the recalls, among other things) cannot do much to look at the petitions against the Dems or the Rs until that recount has been completed.  The GAB has mandated that the recount must finish by May 9, 2011, but the Waukesha County folks have already indicated that they wil be unable to do this as apparently many oddities have been found there.  (So far, only about 15,000 votes have been counted in Waukesha County according to representatives from the Kloppenburg campaign.)  Fourteen counties, including Milwaukee, Dane and Waukesha, have yet to complete their recount; the other counties in Wisconsin have completed their tallies (mind you, Dane and Milwaukee are the most populous counties in the state, so it’s not surprising they have not yet completed thier recount.  It is surprising that smaller Waukesha is having so very many problems, but in another way I’m not at all surprised because as I’ve said and written before, Kathy Nickolaus’s procedures, at best, were highly suspect and have been since at least 2004.)

So that’s about it from here; watching the recount unfold, and continuing to read interesting stuff from the Naked Reader Press folks, along with a little baseball watching.  (If the economy were a bit better, I’d even say it’s fun — as far as it goes.)

Mandatory Recount Starts Tomorrow — and Kathy Nickolaus Recuses Herself in Waukesha County

leave a comment »

Folks, the biggest thing to hit Wisconsin politics in twenty-two years starts tomorrow — the mandatory recount for the race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court between challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg and incumbent Justice David Prosser.  Prosser, as you might recall from my previous blog posts, is a former Republican Speaker of the Assembly, and though judges are officially non-partisan, JoAnne Kloppenburg was seen as an independent or perhaps as a left-leaning potential jurist (though truly none of us know what she’ll do, she seems honest and fair-minded, and potentially a very good judge).

Though I should have more to say on this tomorrow, right now I have one piece of news to report and it’s unexpected — it’s that Kathy Nickolaus, the under-fire County Clerk of Waukesha County, has recused herself from the upcoming proceedings.  Nickolaus gained national fame (or infamy, take your pick) when she realized, a day and a half late, that she hadn’t properly counted Brookfield’s 14,000 votes, throwing the race to Prosser by 7,000 votes due to the pattern of votes in Brookfield.  Nickolaus claimed she’d “not hit the save button” and blamed her failure to count Brookfield on “human error,” yet there have been multitudinous errors in Waukesha County for years (please see previous blogs on the subject, especially this one: and Nickolaus has always blamed “human error.”

Here’s the story from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

And a quote:

Nickolaus took herself out of the recount process, Nowak said, to avoid the appearance of conflict or to give the candidates the ability to raise objections about her performance.

Nickolaus sent out communications to local clerks who had to provide additional materials for the recount, which starts at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Nickolaus will still be present for the recount as the county clerk, Nowak said. She will not serve on the Canvass Board, which includes Democrat Ramona Kitzinger and Republican Pat Karcher.

As a result of Nickolaus’ election-night reporting error, the Government Accountability Board investigated her canvass and her business practices. Last week, the board said that despite some anomalies, the canvass was consistent with results reported by local municipal clerks.

Note that instead of Nickolaus, two others will be observing the mandatory recount in Waukesha county, these being retired Circuit Court Judge Robert Mawdsley and a retired state elections official, Barb Hansen from the Town of Delafield, who should be able to assist Mawdsley during the recount proceedings.

I am glad the recount is proceeding and look forward to more updates as the week progresses.

Oh, and one other update — the Committee to Recall sitting Republican state Senator Robert Cowles (from Green Bay) has announced they have enough signatures to force a recall election, but will turn in their signatures to the Government Accountability Board on Thursday (I’m assuming this is due to the mandatory recount for the judicial race) in Madison.  Here’s a link:

So the recall efforts continue to progress as well.

Updates: More pending recalls (Dems and Rs), etc.

leave a comment »

Before we get to the latest folks being recalled, the first update has to do with the Wisconsin Supreme Court election.   The two sides (Prosser and Kloppenburg) have come to an agreement about the recount, and it will start next Monday.  Please see this story for further details, which gives details about how this particular state-wide recount (the first in twenty-two years) will take place:

Now, as for the newest pending recalls — the drive to recall the Republican 8 continues, as the committee to recall Republican Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) turned in 30,000 signatures — significantly more than the 20,043 signatures required by law (1/4 of the last election) — to see her recalled.

However, we now have three Democrats — Jim Holperin (D-Conover), Bob Wirch (D-Kenosha) and Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) — who have had recall petitions filed against them.   The signatures needed for Holperin was 15,960, with over 23,000 turned in; the signatures needed for Wirch was 13,537, with over 18,000 turned in, and the signatures for Hansen was 13,852 with nearly 19,000 turned in.

See this link for further details:

The main difference between the Dems and the Rs at this point is that two of these three Dems appear to be in “safe,” heavily Democratic districts — Hansen and Wirch both have districts that went for Kloppenburg in the recent Wisconsin Supreme Court election, while Holperin’s district is the only one I’d really tend to be worried about — while all five of the Rs with recalls pending could easily lose and lose big.

Here’s a quote from the rally to recall Alberta Darling held on Thursday, April 21, 2011, courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article of the same date (link posted above):

Kristopher Rowe of Shorewood, a Darling recall leader who created the Facebook page that sparked the campaign, told several hundred people at the Kletzsch Park rally that they weren’t done until Darling was voted out of office.

“We’re going to finish, and we’re going to finish strong,” he said.

Now, you might be wondering why, in particular, recall groups have focused on getting rid of Alberta Darling.  It’s because she was co-chair of the committee that allowed Gov. Scott Walker (R)’s “budget-repair bill” into the whole Senate; she had all the power in the world to stop that bill from ever coming to light unless/until some of the worst problems with it were fixed, yet she refused to use it.

Further from the Journal-Sentinel article:

Darling is the fifth Republican state senator against whom petitions have been filed.

Darling, a co-chair of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, is a central figure in the budget battles that spawned recall efforts against eight Republican and eight Democratic senators. Her opponents clearly will try to hang the budget on her, as did one rally speaker, who referred to the proposed budget as “both immoral and bad economics.”

As I’ve said before, the other four Republicans with recalls pending are:  Luther Olson (R-Ripon), Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse), Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) and Sheila Harsdorf (R-Hudson/River Falls).

And finally, it is confirmed that both Sheldon Wasserman (former Rep., who nearly beat Darling in 2008, losing by about 1000 votes) and Sandy Pasch (the current Rep., D-Whitefish Bay) are seriously thinking about challenging Darling in the pending recall election.  (Note that the Journal-Sentinel had a PolitiFact article today saying it’s wrong to say any of these Senators have been recalled; all we can say is “recalls pending,” as I’ve been saying, or that the “recall petitions have been filed.”)  Both are strong candidates, and the Journal-Sentinel rates this race as “the most competitive race . . .  in the Milwaukee area” (there are five Senators, both R and Dem., who will have to run in recall elections providing the signatures hold up).

Because of the pending recount in the Kloppenburg-Prosser judicial race, it’s possible the recall petitions will take longer to “‘vet” than usual; the Government Accountability Board has been quite busy this year, with no signs of letting up, and it’s the GAB that must oversee both things.

Finally, in personal news, I have one good thing to report.  I wrote 2000 words into part 47 of AN ELFY ABROAD last night, breaking a log-jam that had lasted three weeks after first talking with a friend about the story, then hearing from a different one why I should just give it up already.  (Obviously I disagreed with my second friend.)

Otherwise, I just hit the six year and seven month observance in my personal “grief journey” . . . I tried hard to distract myself and even succeeded for a while, but then I wondered, “What the Hell am I doing?”

Update: Wisconsin state Senator (R) recalls

leave a comment »

So far in Wisconsin, we have four Republican Senators who will, apparently, face recall elections.  These Senators all have had recall petitions filed in Madison with the Government Accountability Board (GAB).  The newest “victims” are Luther Olsen of Ripon and Sheila Harsdorf of Hudson/River Falls, joining earlier Senators Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse) and Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac).    Note this link isn’t perfect but it should take you to the story about Olson:

24,000 signatures were turned in to recall Luther Olsen, which is quite a bit more than the 14,733 signatures needed.  This article also points out that the previous Republican state Senators being recalled, Dan Kapanke and Randy Hopper, are challenging the signatures and procedures.

As for Sheila Harsdorf, the petitions to recall her were filed today also.

This story, from the Twin Cities’ Pioneer Press, states that the Harsdorf recall committee turned in over 23,000 signatures when they needed only 15,744.  This follows suit with the other recalls to date; basically, every Republican state Senator where the petitions have already been turned in has had at least 5,000 additional signatures to guard against any signatures being stricken due to ineligibility.

Here’s a really good article from the Hudson Star-Observer, available at  A relevant quote from this article:

(New Richland High School teacher Rich) Herron was one of four speakers at Monday evening’s rally.

He began by relating how he got involved in the petition drive.

Four months earlier, he said, he had been telling a co-worker how truly happy we was with his career and the work he was doing with at-risk students.

Then Gov. Scott Walker unveiled the budget repair bill that would strip public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights and reduce spending on education and programs to assist the disadvantaged, Herron said.

“And I had the naïve hope that sanity and cooler heads were going to prevail,” he said. “…I kept waiting. Then I watched hundreds of thousands of people descend on Madison, my family among them, thinking they would have to listen to us. We pleaded and we begged, and yeah, sometimes we yelled. But somewhere in there I realized they never intended to listen to us. They never intended to concede anything.”

This is why people like Herron got involved.

Going on:

Herron described picking up petition sheets at a Hudson coffee shop in early March. He said that after going door-to-door in Hudson for two hours and collecting 10 signatures, he knew he needed a better plan.

“So my family and I, you know, the well-funded union machine that we are – outside agitators from New Richmond – spent $83 on some signs and a canopy,” Herron related.

The crowd laughed at the reference to Sen. Harsdorf’s claims that outside union officials are behind the effort to oust her.

Herron said he and other volunteers “sat out in the wind and snow in New Richmond,” and in a few days had 500 signatures. Eventually, 1,600 New Richmond-area residents signed the petition, he said.

Herron said the people he remembers best are the Republicans who signed.

One off-duty police officer said he had driven past him for four days, and each time wrestled over whether he should sign.

“The reason I am, is because wrong is wrong,” the officer reportedly told Herron.

And that, exactly, is why so many people of all parties in Wisconsin are astonished and disgusted at Republican Governor Scott Walker and his eighteen Republican state Senators.

This is a state-wide movement that’s not about Democrats, not about Republicans, not about Independents — it’s about simple fairness.  Period.

We didn’t get it, and we deserve it.  Which is why all of these Republican Senators eligible for recall right now will be recalled.

Once again, I say that persistence is absolutely important.  Look at these folks who put together the recalls.  They started on March 3, 2011, were told they had no chance to get enough signatures (1/4 of the total of the voters in the last election was what was needed, which is a high number) and shouldn’t even bother because “recalls rarely work.”  Yet now, four Republican state Senators will face recall elections until/unless signatures are stricken or the entire process is invalidated (that latter tactic is what Dan Kapanke, R-La Crosse, is trying.  I doubt he will succeed, but if he does, the Recall Kapanke folks believe they can gather enough signatures again very easily), and it’s all due to their vote on Governor Scott Walker’s “budget-repair bill,” which caused massive protests throughout the state (not just in Madison; that was just where it was the most widely-reported). 

Eighteen Republican Senators voted “yes” on that bill, with all fourteen Democratic Senators still out of the state in Illinois protesting at that time who would’ve voted no.  One Republican Senator, Dale Schultz of Richland Center, had the courage to vote “no.”  Schultz now is the only Republican Senator who is likely to hold his seat without facing a recall election.

So now, we in Wisconsin can be pleased — four Senators, at the same time, will face recall elections, the first time in American history it’s ever happened.  But the Republicans should not believe this will be the end, because I can assure you, it won’t be.

First, we have four more Republican state Senators — Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay), Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) and Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) — who are eligible for recall right now.  Signatures are still being gathered there and I am confident that several more of these Republicans will be recalled due to their vote on the controversial “budget-repair” bill.

Next, while the other ten Republican state Senators who voted for that bill are ineligible for recall now, that does not mean they will not be recalled later

I, for one, plan to help recall Van Wanggaard, my sitting Republican Senator who, as I’ve said before, is a retired policeman and a former member of the policeman’s union, yet voted against collective bargaining when he cast a vote for that “budget-repair bill.”  I find that highly hypocritical at best, shameful at worst, and believe that Wanggaard must go.

And I’ve heard from other friends in other parts of the state, who will recall their Republican Senator at first opportunity (this November, we can start to gather signatures) — this isn’t over.  (Oh, no.  This definitely isn’t over.)  And it won’t be until Governor Scott Walker, himself, is recalled.