Earlier today, Republican State Rep. Robin Vos issued a press release announcing he’ll be submitting an amendment to the state constitution that would make it more difficult for recall elections to be triggered. In Vos’ press release, he outlined his concerns about the amount of taxpayer dollars wasted on “unnecessary recalls” (tell that to the voters in the 32nd and 18th senate districts), saying (emphasis added):

“No longer should taxpayer dollars be wasted on unnecessary recall elections that were triggered by a vote that some special interest group didn’t like.” said Rep. Vos. “It undermines our democracy and wastes precious taxpayer dollars that are needed elsewhere.”

Curiously, I don’t recall seeing a press release issued by Rep. Vos expressing his concerns about the “precious taxpayer dollars” wasted (to the tune of $400,000) when his fellow Republicans ran fake Democratic candidates in Democratic primaries in order to give those Republican State Senators facing recall elections a little more time to raise money and campaign.

As I wrote in the title, Robin Vos can take his manufactured outrage and shove it where the sun don’t shine….the hypocrite.

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26 Responses to Robin Vos can take his outrage and shove it where the sun don’t shine!

  1. Locke says:

    I’d like to see some sort of change. When you force the taxpayers to pay for elections (not to mention forcing them to be subjected to millions in political ads, junk mail and phone calls) and don’t even come close, something isn’t right. Losing 58/42, 60/40 or getting doubled up 67/33 like Hansen did to VanderLeest, maybe you should be forced to pay for the election or something. Especially in the cases of Olsen & Cowles where the opposing party couldn’t even be troubled to field a candidate at all in the last general election. That ain’t “what Democracy looks like.”

    I really don’t know that it’s a good thing to have someone ousted from office by an opponent to actually receives tens of thousands LESS votes in the most recent election. 28,187 voted for King yesterday. 41,852 voted for Hopper in 2008. Shilling got 33,192 yesterday, Kapanke got 45,154 in ’08. Don’t misunderstand me – they won fair & square – they got more votes than their opponents this time & that’s the rules of the game. But for folks who are so quick to throw out the word disenfranchised, I would think it would at least be a little troubling.

    I don’t disagree about the fake candidates. The GAB screwed up in setting separate Republican recall elections and Democrat recall elections. And it was a strategy that seems to have been successful. But neither of those things at all make it right.

    • gnarlytrombone says:

      By this logic, candidates elected in presidential election years should get 1-1/2 votes in the legislature because they’re more legit.

      • Locke says:

        By this logic, candidates elected in presidential election years should get 1-1/2 votes in the legislature because they’re more legit.

        Um, no. I took care not say the votes weren’t legitimate. In fact, I explicitly stated just the opposite. I thought the words “don’t misunderstand me” might have helped. Guess not.

        If receiving more votes is a sign of a mandate from the electorate – as the winning candidates always insist – then that applies here as well. Otherwise, you’re arguing that less people getting out to vote is a positive thing.

        • gnarlytrombone says:

          Um, no. I took care not [to] say the votes weren’t legitimate.

          Right. But you did say this vote isn’t as legitimate as Hopper’s glorious victory.

          • Locke says:

            Right. But you did say this vote isn’t as legitimate as Hopper’s glorious victory.

            You, sir are a liar. I said no such thing.

            • gnarlytrombone says:

              Then you must have a different definition of “troubling.”

              • Locke says:

                So troubling = legitimacy? Find me a source that defines them in anything close to that matter.

                How about this:
                Legitimate – adj.
                5. authorized, sanctioned by, or in accordance with law

                What’d I say:

                …they won fair & square – they got more votes than their opponents this time & that’s the rules of the game.

                Again, that’s an explicit statement affirming legitimacy.

                • gnarlytrombone says:

                  OIC. The recall disenfranchised 20K Hopper supporters, but that’s the rules so it’s legitimate. But still troubling.

    • Locke,

      What’s the standard for determining what’s right and what’s not right?

      Your opinion?

      Here’s what’s not right.

      A governor who keeps his real agenda a secret from the voters of Wisconsin but who is more than happy to share his plans and strategies with a man he thinks is David Koch, an out of state mega-billionaire.

      Walker and his allies have broken faith with the people of this state. That’s plenty reason enough to recall them all.

  2. Jeff Simpson says:

    Locke, when elections are not even close like you point out, that is NOT a symptom that democracy does not work. It is however, a symptom that the republicans were able to draw a safe district. Lets fix that not recalls. Vanderleest aside, look at the harsdorf race. Moore is a solid person and candidate and should be able to compete.

    A lower turnout than a general election(especially a presidential) does not mean that the recalls were a waste. It means that more people vote for president. Lets fix that also. I agree with the people who have said we should have no spring elections and do them all in the fall. I also think that election day should be a holiday. (I know this does not account for the recall elections, but it would help bring up turnout).

    Getting signatures from 25% of the voters who voted inthe gubernatorial election is no small feat. The fact that they got those in the 6 republican districts shows that there was some real outrage. there are numerous reasons why they then did not turn but it is a tool that needs to be available to the voters. i support recalls even though that is what brought us gov walker. As zach said two turning shows it was not uneccessary.

    The whole reason that recalls were put in the constitution to begin with, was because people were running as “laFollette Republicans” getting in, and making hard right turns. Which would equate to current days people running on working unions and then whne elected “dropping the bomb” to end all unions.

    The fact that Robin Vos wants to end them because they lost two seats and is quiet on the fact that the “fake democrats” cost up to a half million dollars shows exactly what a true douchebag he really is.

    • This DJ says:

      I would say, Jeff, you put Vanderleest, Moore and Nusbaum aside.

      They are 3 of the five weakest general election candidates on structure, organization and likability.

      I’m a Democrat (card carrying) and I wouldn’t stand Shelly Moore or Nancy Nusbaum.

    • Locke says:

      Getting signatures from 25% of the voters who voted inthe gubernatorial election is no small feat. The fact that they got those in the 6 republican districts shows that there was some real outrage. there are numerous reasons why they then did not turn but it is a tool that needs to be available to the voters. i support recalls even though that is what brought us gov walker. As zach said two turning shows it was not uneccessary.

      Yes and no. Using your logic, it’s a smaller feat than doing so in a Presidential year. Somewhere between 35-40% of voters will vote for the R, every time, no matter what and 35-40% the D every time, no matter what. Getting 25% of the voters to sign requires time and effort. It is much more of a function of how motivated a relatively very small number of volunteers are than how motivated the public at large or even the signers are. Again – I’m not saying it’s nothing. That people are actively engaged is certainly a good thing. But it’s not perfect – and not a better indicator of the “will of the people” than a greater number of voters – for whatever that’s worth.

      It’s amusing – if not instructive – to look at the raw numbers. Almost 25,000 people signed petitions to remove Cowles. Yet nowhere near that many – only 18,000 actually voted against him. 15,540 signed petitions to remove Hansen. Yet only 11,000 actually voted against him.

  3. This DJ says:

    Locke, you can’t make something contingent on “bothering to field a candidate.” Just because a democrat, or Republican for that matter doesn’t chose to run, shouldn’t mean that REPRESENTATIVE should be able to be held unaccountable to the people who elected them.

    Also, I wouldn’t look to far into the numbers of voters vs. a presidential year election. Does that mean that since in 2010, where Walker Assembly Representative X recieved way less votes than the year before because of turnout. Does that mean that the people who didn’t bother to get off there duff to vote have been disenfranchised? That’s a strawman argument we’re seeing in the Republican talking points, and frankly it’s dumb.

    Thirdly, the GAB was constricted by the affidavits filed by the Democratic party, and the amount of sheer research they put into it. That issued the delay. GAB had a statutory guideline on timing those elections. If the Republican party had put forth an ounce of research, then maybe theirs would have been delayed to. But to say a staff of 5 analysts at the GAB can sift through that much paperwork and give it a proper review in the timeline they had seems unlikely. When pressured with HARD Deadlines, they did the best they can.

    Finally, if I were you, I wouldn’t read far into the Cowles/Harsdorf/Hansen numbers. Actually, if any republicans operatives are reading this. PLEASE READ INTO THOSE NUMBERS, ROB COWLES AND SHEILA HARSDORF WILL NEVER LOSE, JUST CALL THEM THE 1972 MIAMI DOLPHINS OF ELECTIONS. DAVE HANSEN IS THE SAFEST MAN IN THE STATE SENATE.

    That is all,

    DJ out!

    • Locke says:

      Just because a democrat, or Republican for that matter doesn’t chose to run, shouldn’t mean that REPRESENTATIVE should be able to be held unaccountable to the people who elected them.

      I don’t disagree with that at all. But it does tell you that the opposing party doesn’t really give a damn about the voters in that district. I’ll concede that they shouldn’t really be expected to spend huge money & resources in a district they’re highly likely to lose at the expense of more competitive ones. But when a party doesn’t even field a candidate at all, let along a quality one – that’s just a slap in the face. Of the 16 seats up for election in 2008, 7 of them were unopposed. That’s pathetic.

      If the Republican party had put forth an ounce of research, then maybe theirs would have been delayed to.

      I think you mean wouldn’t be delayed, right? It was the the Republican recalls that GAB approved first and at one point, didn’t look like they were going to get through the Democrat ones in time. It seemed like they essentially gave up on due diligence on them & just thought, “ah heck, close enough, let them go ahead too or we’ll get ripped so hard for looking like partisans that we’ll lose legitimacy.” I’ll admit, I don’t know the in’s & out’s of the statutory requirements on recalls. But I find it hard to believe they couldn’t have taken a step back & looked at the big picture & had all the elections on the same day.

      Finally, if I were you, I wouldn’t read far into the Cowles/Harsdorf/Hansen numbers. Actually, if any republicans operatives are reading this. PLEASE READ INTO THOSE NUMBERS, ROB COWLES AND SHEILA HARSDORF WILL NEVER LOSE, JUST CALL THEM THE 1972 MIAMI DOLPHINS OF ELECTIONS. DAVE HANSEN IS THE SAFEST MAN IN THE STATE SENATE.

      Funny you make the sports reference because this line of reasoning seems to fit right in with the sports fan that believes his yelling at the TV & behavior actually has an effect on a team winning or losing. I don’t believe anyone is entitled to an elected office or unbeatable (even though re-districting always tries to do just that). But even if I did, it couldn’t possibly have less to do with the outcome of elections.

  4. T. says:

    People should stop panicking, yes this is against your principles but they cannot simply can’t do this- without a 4 year period, Two administrations, and a state wide referendum.

    Still an important thing to bring up mind you, but I still find it wrong. In fact honestly, I wish standards for recalling representatives in Wisconsin was shorter so it wouldn’t be so pointless to try to recall them. I bet if that was the case, we would see more people being able to be recalled.

    ( I also have my opinions on why the Democrats lost, it wasn’t because they were weak candidates and they didn’t stand a chance, but it’s how they marketed themselves not to the best of their ability. But that’s a whole other topic. That being said, I think Pasch would have never won against Darling. The Republican historically always wins there by a small amount revealed by Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington County after Milwaukee reveals itself if you check every election there. )

    • This DJ says:

      I think that Nusbaum lost because of a combination of things.

      1) Her negatives have always been high. She didn’t win a single ward in brown county in her primary for Congress in 06. That’s because, frankly, she’s pretty unlikeable.

      2) I don’t know what their strategy was, but if you are losing the blue collar Little Chute and the South parts of Outagamie County in that District, you’re doing something wrong on a retail politics approach. That’s effectively base vote for most democrats (I mean even the tomato can who ran in the 5th there in 2010 won LC)

      3) Their TV plan focused entirely on the power plant issue, which they got smacked down on repeatedly because it was not accurate.

      I could come up with a few more, but that’s just the easy ones without thinkin hard.

      • gnarlytrombone says:

        if you are losing the blue collar Little Chute and the South parts of Outagamie County in that District, you’re doing something wrong on a retail politics approach

        Or perhaps the county clerk just horked up the numbers.

        • Jeff Simpson says:

          Cant we have some kind of County Clerk training and standards? Maybe thats something Vos should focus on…

        • T. says:

          Oh yeah, she definitely horked up a lot of those numbers — the result is still the same with Cowles beating her mind you, it was just not as dramatic as many just thought.

          Personally, I always assumed the fact she openly stood up for minorities and gay/lesbian/transgender rights is the reason why she aggressively attacked people who were racist or used their beliefs to justify their bigotry, and that’s what got her kicked out. At least, that was according to rumors where I live.

      • T. says:

        2006 isn’t really a good year to judge by, she didn’t exactly have a big campaigning fund. If you break it down to this:

        Candidate Votes
        Steven L. Kagen (D) 25,523 48%
        Jamie Wall (D) 15,427 29%
        Nancy Nusbaum (D) 12,731 23%

        I wouldn’t even say she is so much as unlikable as the fact she was just steam rolled by Steve Kagen, like Jamie Wall was. Plus, Steve Kagen came to power on one huge issue people were worrying about at the time — Healthcare! That was his big plan and why he got in the first place, which people soon quickly forgot about as soon as the right wing machine demonized having decent healthcare.

        I do agree about the rest of the mistakes though: Nusbaum in my opinion had a lot of potential but her campaign team really blew it, there was no positive ads for her with her history. (She does have an extremely good and solid history actually, even if she gave herself a pay raise and Republicans do not want to admit it. In fact Nusbaum herself was originally a Republican before it embraced the religious right if I remember correctly.)

      • T. says:

        If I actually remember clearly: it came down to this in the 2006 democratic primaries — Nancy Nusbaum was a political opportunist because she changed from Republican to Democrat ten years prior to that election. However she did support civil rights and so on, which she tried to cater on that. In results, she wasn’t cared for by either side because she was economically a lot like a Republican at the time, but was socially a Democrat. She definitely has her loyal following in De Pere as I have seen actually, but if I remember — she focused on her negativity back then too instead of actually saying what good she did.

        Jamie Wall was a true blue progressive, nominated by Obey if I remember. Whatever happened to him anyway?

        Kagen had a solid campaign: The whole “No Patient Left Behind” if I remember.

      • T. says:

        Oh. I remember too: they did a negative campaign on her saying she insulted people of Brown County for calling me out for being racists hatemongers. Which… I will not lie, a ton are if you noticed you know who’s comments from way back when.

        A reason she was unlikable if I remember, was because she outright called out people for using religion as an excuse to be hateful and a few areas that kept harassing minorities. That was how she actually lost the County Executive Race actually. I remember that ad.

        • This DJ says:

          That’s A reason, but it’s not really THE reason.

          However, I don’t disagree, hailing from rural Oconto County in my youth, I wouldn’t be surprised if how that worked.

          I’m just saying, electorally, she wasn’t the greatest candidate, and the team put together there wasn’t the greatest for outreach to energize the base.

          Turnout in the 2nd SD was the lowest in all of the races, Kaukauna and Little Chute’s numbers weren’t all that great turnout wise, (even taking into account the clerk fuck up). They likely made an assumption that our people would just come out.

          In campaigns, that’s a dangerous assumption to make.

          • T. says:

            Trust me, as someone was bombarded by anti-Nancy Nusbaum Ads — they kept pointing out that she called them racists after they kept trying to screw around with the Oneida Tribe by demanding they’d give up their sovereignty pointing out it was federal law that they could not be messing with them. That she ‘demonized’ religion — but it was more like she wanted the LGBT group to have equal rights.

            I think I remember the exact ad that was used against her to get her out of Brown County – even if I was rather apathetic at the time and not into politics, believing they were all crooks and Republicans were SO COOL — they made an ad where she was actually in a bar argument and angry. Not hurting anyone, just arguing but it was enough to get her out.

            I personally always took Nancy Nusbaum becoming a Democrat because at one point she did qualify as a Republican, but the religious right and the racists began to take over the Republican Party thus pushed her out. In my opinion, if she was very unpopular for so long, she probably wouldn’t have stayed in as long as she did – it was only after she actually said her opinions on those matters she crashed and burnt.

            I think you’re giving Little Chute too much credit, that place is fairly conservative in beliefs and religion. Yes it’s really a working class area, but it’s also religious as fuck. All they had to see was those few anti Nancy Nusbaum Ads attacking their faith and she’d get disgusted to not vote. Kaukuana is no excuse though either, but once again — attack on what she said about racists and religion. In addition: single issue voters. Most people don’t give a shit about the economy, they do care about their own faith to force everyone to convert, making abortion completely illegal, and so on. This is why Pro-Life Wisconsin can exist and be so powerful.

          • T. says:

            Also: Kaukauna was won by Nancy Nusbaum with the corrected numbers. Just had to give that as an update.

  5. Jan Tessier says:

    It’s so troubling that citizens feel they need the right to hold government officials accountable for their actions or inaction. It’s very troubling that people seem to think that their votes matter. It’s really troubling that states have constitutions which clearly state the rules of governing. Let’s just do away with constitutions altogether. We should let corporations run the country—because they’ve obviously done so well so far. People need to just shut up and get with the program here instead of lollygagging around getting petitions signed and helping people to vote. What nonsense.

    I think I’ve summed up the teabagging right-wing position pretty well.

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