Could the plot thicken for some GOP senators this year?
There’s been a lot of talk this week about how people have to give Scott Walker a year in office before he is “eligible” to be recalled, by law. As the first six weeks of his administration have already shown, this is a fellow that can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. He’s lost more than $830 million in high-speed rail and broadband stimulus money, together with the jobs and infrastructure improvements those investments would represent. He’s cut into consumer protection with a tort “reform” measure that removes incentives to seek justice by diminishing the responsibility that defendants will have to take in certain cases. He’s gone after environmental protections. He wants to sell state-owned power production to corporations so we can pay double-digit returns to the new owners instead of retaining that cost savings for the people of the state.
But the most brazen insult has been to try to strip union rights away from public employees in a move that everyone understands will ripple down from the state to the counties and municipalities. It will continue the process of lowering the standard of living for many other people in Wisconsin who may not realize that they will share in the loss, as hundreds of millions of dollars in discretionary income are sucked out of their markets. The only thing that delayed it was his need to pass some business tax cuts first. Tens of thousands of people stormed the capital. But it seems that carrying water for the Club for Growth, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and the Koch Brothers means more to the governor and some legislators than making sure their actions are measured, fair and limited to what is truly necessary to balance the budget. (There is a reason that I always run the guv’s picture with the Americans for Prosperity background. It’s because people need to remember where he’s coming from and where he’s going.)
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Article XIII, §12
Recall of elective officers. Section 12. [As created Nov. 1926 and amended April 1981] The qualified electors of the state, of any congressional, judicial or legislative district or of any county may petition for the recall of any incumbent elective officer after the first year of the term for which the incumbent was elected, by filing a petition with the filing officer with whom the nomination petition to the office in the primary is filed, demanding the recall of the incumbent.
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It would be great if some of the tremendous energy brought to bear by the people of Wisconsin who stood up for themselves, their friends, their neighbors and their communities could be channeled into something that could make a near-term difference in the way that our state is being governed. Fortunately, that is the case.
What is making it possible for Governor Walker to promote and pass so much backward, reactionary policy so quickly is that he has GOP majorities in both houses of the legislature and they’re only too willing to rubber stamp his radical agenda. It would be a good idea to let the GOP Senators who are up for re-election in 2012 know that their day of reckoning could be moved into this year. Successfully recalling even one lawmaker who jumps into bed for gutting worker rights in Wisconsin would send a powerful message. Get three in the Senate and Walker would be, well, closed for business.
So without further ado, here are the Republican senators that would be subject to recall this year, if the voters of their districts should choose to make it so. And I promise, I will add any Democratic senators to this list who vote for Walker’s bogus budget repair measure – (but don’t hold your breath, because it’s not happening):
District 2, Rob Cowles, Green Bay
District 8, Alberta Darling, River Hills
District 10, Sheila Harsdorf, River Falls
District 14, Luther Olsen, Ripon
District 18, Randy Hopper, Fond du Lac
District 20, Glen Grothman, West Bend
District 28, Mary Lazich, New Berlin
District 32, Dan Kapanke, La Crosse
Of those, several would be a waste of time to try to unseat because their districts are such that the only way for someone to win against an incumbent would be to campaign as being even more conservative than the incumbent. (In the case of someone like Glen Grothman, that is probably not even possible.) But at least five of them — Cowles, Harsdorf, Olsen, Kapanke and possibly Hopper – for them, this issue could be enough to undo them or at least cause an expensive extra defense of their seats that would have an uncertain outcome, provided good challengers can be recruited and funded. People in those districts need to let these senators know that this is a bottom line issue, for which there will be no forgiveness if they miss the call, whether this year or next.
UPDATE: She’s not everybody’s Darling… Former Dem Assembly Rep. Dr. Sheldon Wasserman indicates he could be a candidate vs. GOP Sen. Alberta Darling: http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/noquarter/116545518.html
UPDATE: The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is now raising funds to recall the “eligible” GOP senators: http://fb.me/AZsdqJWj