Today marks the last day of the (ir)regular session of the Wisconsin State Legislature; good riddance to bad rubbish indeed! While halfway through lent, this lapse Catholic is glad the state is giving up Republican mandates for a short while at least. Plus spring has sprung, and with it that irrepressibly burning eternal. Keeping with the lenten theme, the days are longer (lengthened, you might even say), the sun brighter and warmer. With recalls soon to be set, there is light for sure at the end of this tunnel that has been the yearlong winter of our discontent, and hope outshining the audacity of dopes.
Read the rest of this entry »
Tag Archives: recall
Not to sound like the beginning gag of a standup comedian or anything, but have you ever noticed that when conservatives drop the term “activist judge” it’s always in reference to a ruling they don’t like? “Legislating from the bench” is another term of art they’re quick at the tongue to traduce, meaning a member of the judiciary creating laws rather than interpreting them. You know, egregious overreaches by the courts such as Brown v. Board of Education or Loving v. Virginia. But such selective slander seldom if ever seems to apply when a conservative judge or court calls the shots. Who labeled Chief Justices Rehnquist or libeled Roberts as “activist” in Bush v. Gore or Citizens United, respectively? Both were arguable breaches of judicial probity. It seems only a conservative can accuse another — anyone — as activist, irrespective of supporting fact or substantive grounds. For just as when Republicans ballyhoo a hue and cry about invasive government only when it comes to business regulations or environmental protections — and never about whom you are sleeping with, or how — their bete noir becomes their best friend when a conservative agenda is gaveled, no matter how abusive of power. It’s heads I win, tails you lose. Read the rest of this entry »
Let’s talk turkey. Or at least about one. The recall against Scott Walker has been going steadily well the last two weeks. The minimum number of signatures needed to trigger a recall election is 540,208, but to play it safe we are aiming closer to the 600,000-700,000 range, as the GOP establishment will undoubtedly challenge the reams and reams of petitions. But this is only half the story, for we are not trying to recall Walker alone, but also his running mate, Rebecca Kleefisch, the Lieutenant Governor. The Attorney General of Wisconsin, J.B. Van Hollen, decided that there had to be two separate petitions for the offices — even though both were elected together on the same ballot. So that in reality puts the total amount of signatures well past the million mark — let’s say 1,400,000 — and still we have only 60 days to collect them. That’s about 23,000 signatures per day, a pretty daunting hurdle to by any measure. While collecting signatures and explaining that there’s a separate one for Kleefisch, I have had dozens of folks ask me quite innocently, “Who even is she?” or “What does she even do?” To which my only grasped straw of a response has been, “Wear way too much makeup.” A catty quip, and probably beneath me, but so be it. But it has made me ask myself, Who is this show-and-tell shill for Sephora — what’s her story? what are her qualifications? and, what for the love of all things holy is up with her hair? Here is what I have disinterred. Read the rest of this entry »
Feeling blue? Lugubrious? “Bluegubrious?” Don’t just sit there; do something about it. So says Walt Krendard, spokesperson of Wisconsin Alliance of Fair Weather Friends, a citizen action group recalling spring — yes, the season. “We all witnessed the equinox — some of us even attended the groundhog rallies back in February,” Krendard says, “and however you slice it, spring ain’t doing its job.” Indeed, he furthers, “it’s run away and hiding out of state.” Wisconsin recently has become ground zero for recall elections of unprecedented proportion, so it may not come as a surprise to find such a favorable climate for recalling the actual season. We went to Spring Green, in Iowa County, to find out what was happening on the ground level.
On your morning commute today you might happen to see yet another couple of out-of-town cars driving up E. Washington Avenue towards the Capitol. Their destination? Recalling Sheila Harsdorf via the Government Accountability Board. They will be making the trip from up in Hudson, so be sure to wave hello or honk out a “this is what democracy looks like” volley on the horn. Full story here.
It’s official: the third Republican state Senator — Luther Olsen — will face a recall election. Some 10,000 signatures above and beyond the required amount were submitted to the Government Accountability Board today.
Word, too, is that “big news” will be announced tonight in Hudson — Sheila Harsdorf’s turf, who may well be the fourth Republican to face recall.
Meanwhile, waiting in the wings are Cowles and Darling, with exactly two weeks remaining to still collect and then submit signatures against them, too.
If you haven’t signed up yet (and either live in or plan on moving to Wisconsin sometime soon), please sign on here so that next year we’re better mobilized to recall Walker. Thanks!
If I were Jimmy the Greek (remember him?), I’d predict a 101 percent* likelihood that today, around 3:00 pm at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin headquarters (110 King St, Madison — map), the collected signatures required to recall the aptly named “Randy” Hopper will be officially submitted with great aplomb and just desert. (* With a 1 percent margin or error, side effects may include told-you-so gloating, cheering, jeering, shaming, finger-pointing, pillorying, and other such karmic remarks.) But I’m only Timmy the Irish-German-American, so click here for the story substantiated.
All things (never) being equal, it appears that the needed signatures for Democratic state Senator Bob Wirch, down in Kenosha, will be submitted today, too. Rumor has it that those for Dave Hansen (north of Green Bay) are imminent as well. To remind and review, here’s a basic breakdown of it all. Notice the discrepancy in signatures needed. If nothing else, that indicates lower voter turnout, since the number of signatures needed to recall must equal no less than 25 percent of votes cast in the previous election for governor.
We have a little less than a month now to leave town and get involved in these other collection efforts around the state. I will be organizing trips to Hudson and Shorewood-area for the Harsdorf and Darling areas respectively for the new few weekends. Stay tuned… And, as ever, thanks so much!
Do You Recall…?
It’s worth recollecting that Scott Walker became the County Executive of Milwaukee County eight years ago thanks to a recall election after then incumbent, Tom Ament, retired after a scandal over county pension funds. Before that, Walker was still in the State Assembly. Interestingly (re: incestuously), he won that seat after yet another “special election” — in this case to none other than the son of Tom Lament. Walker deliberately moved to Wauwatosa to establish residence after an Assembly seat opened up there in 1993. At the time, Scott was only 25 years old, selling warranties for IBM. (He’d already dropped out of Marquette University). He would go on to pitch his hat in the gubernatorial ring in 2006, but decided to back down (lack of cash; he was not then bankrolled by the Koch brothers) and deferred to Mark Green who then ran as the Republican candidate (unsuccessfully). That was only four years after becoming county exec. of Milwaukee. Now he’s governor, and he obviously has his eyes cast on national prizes. (Remember the prank call wherein he happily confides his belief in this being his Reagan moment? See excerpt below.) The point I’m trying to establish is that not unlike being a true Teabagger who ran as a brown bagger Republican, Walker is a career politician blatantly masquerading as an average citizen who just happened to heed the call of duty. Read the rest of this entry »