GOP says they were “victorious” while WMC says ‘let’s change the rules’

The picture above is from Kim Simac’s election night party. For some reason, the balloons hadn’t dropped yet.

It’s always entertaining to peruse the “morning after” quotes of various players following an election. Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus wasted no time continuing to declare victory, after his team lost two recall bids to unseat Democratic senators in Wisconsin yesterday:

“With the union-orchestrated recall madness over, taxpayers can rest assured that Republicans were victorious, maintaining the majority in the Wisconsin Senate despite Democrat guarantees of victory. Now, Wisconsin Republicans can continue proactively addressing the real issues facing Wisconsinites by focusing on job creation and getting the state’s fiscal house in order.

“Democrats and the unions should take notice that recent polling shows the public disapproves of further recalls. Liberals should stop distracting voters with expensive recall elections and start helping Governor Scott Walker and the Republicans get Wisconsin back to work.”

Well, that’s kind of interesting, since yesterday’s recalls were certainly NOT union-orchestrated. And while recent polling did indicate a narrow advantage at the moment for the point of view that Governor Walker shouldn’t be recalled – a view that I happen to share, for reasons that are probably much different than Reince’s – it doesn’t really translate to support for Walker or his agenda.

In the never-ending game of political chess that we now find ourselves in, WMC, (the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Association), has now embarked upon a mission to change Wisconsin’s recall provisions – something that requires a constitutional amendment. It’s funny that they didn’t roll out this idea last week or maybe a few months ago. It’s equally interesting that after the assurance from Reince Priebus that “Republicans were victorious,” they don’t seem interested in any more victories like the one they are supposedly now enjoying, (which consisted of losing two GOP seats in the state senate.)

I’m guessing if those balloons had dropped for them last night, they might not have been quite so insistent about the need for change this morning. But they didn’t and so here are WMC’s recall reform talking points, (which they feel should gain bipartisan support:)

“Now that the Senate recall elections are done, it’s time for Wisconsin to get back to focusing on job creation. Wisconsin needs to support recall reform so we do not face destabilizing recall elections again in the future. Wisconsin needs to amend its Constitution to tighten the standards for recalls. Right now, an elected official can be recalled for NO cause if the required petitions are gathered. Wisconsin’s Constitution needs to include a well-defined standard of wrong-doing by an elected official in order to allow a recall drive to move forward.”

That would probably be something like “high crimes and misdemeanors,” I guess – certainly not simply promoting an extremist agenda that you never campaigned on and that most of your constituency disapproves of, for example. As for focusing on job creation, it’s abundantly clear that it means something entirely different to WMC than it does to most people in Wisconsin. Just check out the agenda from that early special session on job creation that whizzed through the legislature.

The bottom line is that no matter how messy and inconvenient the recall provision in Wisconsin’s constitution happens to be, it leaves the power exactly where it belongs: with voters — not with WMC and the Koch brothers. The problem these folks have is that for all of their money, negative advertising and gaming, it’s really difficult to masquerade as a majority when you clearly are not.

The WMC has been a part of destabilizing Wisconsin’s political climate by pouring millions of dollars into judicial, legislative and gubernatorial races for the past several cycles in support their special interest agenda. Now that the people are beginning to figure some of this out and see the results, WMC sees a desperate need to change the rules. The reason is pretty simple: having their acolytes subject to recall after only partial terms can really diminish the return on investment in comparison to full terms. And ROI is what these folks are all about.

JR

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