Posts tagged Wisconsin

As Wisconsin, So the Nation

Insane Clown Posse

For those keep­ing track at home, the score so far, in the six fake Wis­con­sin pri­maries (in which Repub­li­cans ran faux Democ­rats) and the one ac­tual re­call elec­tion: De­moc­rats 7, Repub­li­cans 0. All seven of those Demo­c­ra­tic wins were blowouts.

I’d think any sane an­a­lyst would have ex­pected them to be blowouts. But it would have been a bad sign for the Democ­rats’ chances in 2012 if they had not been.

These recall elec­tions are a test vote on how Repub­li­cans are doing since tak­ing over the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, sev­eral state leg­is­la­tures, and a num­ber of Gov­er­nor­ships in 2010. The poli­cies of Repub­li­cans, both in the States and nation­ally, have been extremely con­ser­v­a­tive, and have been closely coör­di­nated at both the fed­eral and local lev­els. The pol­i­tics of this year and next are turn­ing into a ref­er­en­dum on how well Repub­li­cans are doing.

This reveals a fail­ure of mes­sag­ing on the part of Repub­li­cans, who wanted the 2012 elec­tions to be a ref­er­en­dum on Pres­i­dent Obama, and who were cer­tain they could spin the President’s record as some­thing dis­taste­ful to the vot­ing pub­lic. The com­bi­na­tion of extrem­ist poli­cies on the part of Repub­li­cans, and the even-​​handed calm response of the Pres­i­dent, seems, how­ever, to be defeat­ing this strat­egy. (more…)

Wisconsin Recall — Stranger Than Fiction

Wis­con­sin Gov. Scott Walker

One of the most amaz­ing polit­i­cal sagas in recent mem­ory is play­ing out in Wis­con­sin. Here are a few of the high­lights — the full story would fill a novel. And a great novel it would be. Now, I’m a sci­ence fic­tion and fan­tasy writer, but I wouldn’t touch some­thing like this. It’s too unbe­liev­able for the my own pre­ferred genres.

Newly-​​elected Wis­con­sin Gov­er­nor Scott Walker pushed a seri­ous union-​​busting mea­sure through the state leg­is­la­ture ear­lier this year, result­ing in mas­sive protests at the state cap­i­tal, protests which were echoed in other places around the country.

Gov­er­nor Walker used a pro­jected deficit in the state bud­get as an excuse for these mea­sures. We know the state bud­get was really just an excuse, and the real goal was to bust the unions, because the unions agreed to the cost sav­ing mea­sures. Walker still insisted on the mea­sures that would nearly dis­man­tle the unions, and remove nearly all col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing rights for most state work­ers. (more…)

Wisconsin Recall Primary July 12

The sit­u­a­tion in the Wis­con­sin recall elec­tions started out messy and has become even more complicated.

Wisconsin’s State Sen­ate cur­rently has 19 Repub­li­cans and 14 Democ­rats. Demo­c­ra­tic activists are there­fore con­cen­trated on recall­ing three Repub­li­can sen­a­tors and replac­ing them with Democ­rats, which would shift the bal­ance to 16 R/​17 D.

Wis­con­sin law demands that an elected offi­cial serve one year in office before s/​he is sub­ject to recall.

Six Repub­li­can state sen­a­tors who are being recalled meet that stan­dard, and have been tar­geted with suc­cess­ful recall peti­tions. Democ­rats are angry over a pro­vi­sion first advanced by Repub­li­can Gov. Scott Walker and approved by both houses of the state leg­is­la­ture which would take away col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing rights for almost all pub­lic employ­ees. The State Supreme Court has cleared the law and it will now go into effect.

Edit: Reader rgbact has cor­rectly pointed out that the bill restricts col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing rights only on ben­e­fits, leav­ing col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing for wages in place. I regret the error.

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Political Drama WIth Cheese

A com­plex polit­i­cal dance is tak­ing place in the state of Wis­con­sin, involv­ing all three branches of the state gov­ern­ment, with active par­tic­i­pa­tion from the peo­ple of the state. The dance has impor­tant impli­ca­tions for the nation, deal­ing as it does with the kind of peo­ple we are,  with the nature of col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing, with the ways the peo­ple inter­act with each other and with the insti­tu­tions of government.

On May 26, Dane County Cir­cuit Judge Maryann Sumi struck down Wisconsin’s union-​​busting bill that had been pushed by Repub­li­cans through the state leg­is­la­ture, and signed into law by first-​​term Gov­er­nor Scott Walker. (more…)

Open Mic May 27

Res­i­dents of Joplin, Mis­souri, sur­vey the dam­age after the tornado.

An inter­est­ing week, indeed. Another Repub­li­can House seat flips blue. The Pres­i­dent pushes for Israel to return to 1968 bor­ders. The dead­liest tor­nado in the United States since 1947 hit Joplin, Mis­souri. And Wis­con­sin gears up for next week’s recall elections.

Don’t see an arti­cle on a par­tic­u­lar topic, but want to talk about it any­where? This is Open Mic. Talk about what­ever you want, but stay respectful.

We cre­ate a new Open Mic every week to give a clean slate, but feel free to add to this topic at any time.

Kohl Me When It’s Over

Herb Kohl

As if Wis­con­sin were not already the focus of all eyes polit­i­cally because of its recent high-​​profile labor bat­tles and lawmaker-​​recall initiatives…now it will have an excit­ing Sen­ate race in 2012 as well. Sen­a­tor Herb Kohl (D-​​WI) who has served his state with steady, low-​​key com­pe­tence for almost a quar­ter of a cen­tury and still enjoys favor­able approval rat­ings, unex­pect­edly announced his retire­mentlast week:

I’ve always believed that it’s bet­ter to leave a job a lit­tle too early than a lit­tle too late. And that’s how I feel today. The inter­est and energy I have for this job will find a new home at the con­clu­sion of this term.

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