Recall Election Thoughts

While the results from last nights election were not what we were hoping, they were also not clear cut. There was good news and bad news. Here are my thoughts about the GOOD NEWS of what we can take from last nights results!

* Jess King is now a Wisconsin State Senator and Randy Hopper is not! This alone makes the night worthwhile. I have said on here that Jess King was the best candidate on both sides running in these elections and truly believe that. This leaves us some questions 1. Does Randy Hopper need help moving? 2. How does this affect Valerie Cass future employment? 3. Will Valerie Cass still want him? Did she like him because he looks like Buzz lightyear or because he was in power?

* Jen Schilling won ending The reign of Dan Kapanke. Kapanke while a terrible candidate, it takes a special man to steal from charities to finance your campaign, had enough support to actually think he could unseat Ron Kind last year. Good For Jen Schilling and even better for Wisconsin.

* A grassroots movement was started and will not end. We have new people involved and paying attention now in Govenrment and politics than probably ever in our lifetime. I know many people who were out knocking on doors and hitting the phones who did not even know who their Senator or Assembly person was 10 months ago. We also have strong mailing lists, contact lists, experienced organizers than we have ever had before. This is how we will win in the long run. We will need this because they have unlimited funds.

* The Democrats have legitimate candidates and talent ready to run and serve and the Republicans do not. While the Republicans are running people like David Vanderleest, and Kim Simac, the Democrats are running people like Jess King, Fred Clark, Shelley Moore, etc… Then you can look at the “bench” of potential candidates and spokespeople where the Democrats have rising superstars like Tony Schultz and Mahlon Mitchell and the republicans have Brian Schimming.

* We did legitimately get 6 recalls in 6 republican districts(Walker won these districts by an average of 13 points). Heck we ALMOST recalled Glenn Grothman(R-land that time forgot). These were not small feats!

* We saw just how dirty, unethical and highly partisan the new redistricting is. Scott Walker who likes to tout his “successes” so that he can keep getting Billionaire Brother phone calls, was in complete seclusion yesterday when he signed the redistricting bill. Could it be he knew how bad the new maps were and did not want to fuel the recall fire? Or has he just become humble of late?

* Now Dale Schultz has power he never had before and can act like the centrist politician he used to be not the one who was intimidated by the Fitzwalkerstan clan.

* Wisconsin is still a deeply divided and evenly split state. The more the republicans run it like they have a 100-0 edge the more the centrists will wake up and tell them that is unacceptable. Much of the outside spending will be somewhat tempered in 2012, as the Koch’s, Bradley Foundation, etc… will be busy buying all 50 states and will not be able to focus solely on WI.

* Finally it is still early. Much of Governor Walker’s plans have not went into affect yet. School has yet to start, parents have yet to be asked to pay increased school fees, PTOs have yet to be asked to raise even more money to cover essentials, children are not yet sitting in larger classes, municipalities have not yet cut services or added increased fees. Many Families do not even know that their favorite teacher retired early due to the budget. Wait until their friends/family with special needs children are struggling even more than before, or their neighbor who is a custodian at the local high school loses their house. Wait until local businesses realize the effects on their business of taking millions of dollars of discretionary income out of the pockets of state workers. Wait until people realize that Scott Walker and the republicans did NOT balance the budget and are raising fees, and taxes.

We also need to make sure and document all of these instances so if you know of any send it to us We will follow up and document.

* ALEC has been exposed and will continue to be exposed for how they have been doing the thinking for the Republican Wisconsin Senators.

* Kathy Nickolaus was in the news again. SHe makes a good face for the republican party.

* The Democrats have two more seats today then they had yesterday. That is a win.

* While I disagree with FMSN that the Democratic candidates never talked collective bargaining, I think they did not pound the point enough! As we saw by the 6 weeks of protests in the Capitol, Collective bargaining was an issue that resonated with the people.

* It will be spun that this means Scott Walker is popular, nothing could be further from the truth. Scott Walker was in witness protection program the last few weeks of the recall elections. There is a reason all of the republican candidates pretended they did not know him.

* The work is not over, it is only beginning. It is time to start holding the republicans feet to the fire and demand that they start seriosuly creating jobs and fixing the economy. They have spent the first 8 months doing things to make sure they have perpetual control of the state without working for it. Let us make them work for it. Keep talking, keep reading, keep calling, keep writing, keep knocking on doors. We took a step forward last night, looking forward to our next victory.

“One year ago, we knocked on the door. This year, we beat on the door. Next year, we’re gonna kick the son-of-a-bitch in.” Bum Phillips


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28 thoughts on “Recall Election Thoughts

  1. I think the most stunning thing was that a man who has sex with and impregnates a minor, and then pays off her father, can still win an election to serve his district. Clinton had sex with a consenting adult and they tried to impeach him. Oh, I guess he wasn’t in the party of family values, the party who wants to keep sex within families, including babysitters.


  2. Great post, Jeff. Bottom line for me is that for every ounce of #fitzwalkerstan douchebaggery, #wiunion showed tenfold more heart.

    Here’s the story: here to here.

  3. Once – just once – I’d like to see political partisans define victory conditions *in advance* so that they don’t embarrass themselves afterwards as they try to spin an obvious defeat into a victory.

    1. Oh c’mon. The spin & moving of the goalposts has become so blatant it’s really become entertaining. 🙂

      1. Agreed. Taking down Hopper was not exactly hard and Kapanke probably should have never been able to win in the first place… those results were certainly nothing to gloat about.

        1. While last night certainly wasn’t a complete victory, a 33% winning percentage in R-held districts is something D’s would gladly accept, extrapolated throughout the country, next year.

          So as always, there’s a grain of truth to the “spin”.

        2. We did make these gains. Now to add to these.

          Democrats Make Gains Among Blue-Collar Whites in Wisconsin Recall Elections
          By Scott Bland
          August 10, 2011 | 4:47 PM | 5 Comments
          Share Share

          Though Democrats failed to gain enough state Senate seats to retake the majority in Wisconsin’s recall elections, there were hopeful signs for the party even in one of the districts they lost. Returns from the recall elections suggest that Democrats have begun to recover blue-collar support in Wisconsin, which cratered in 2010 and will be key to President Obama’s chances across the Upper Midwest next November.

          The six state Senate districts that held elections last night broke down simply along one economic measure: according to Census Bureau estimates, the median household income is above $50,000 per year in three districts and below that mark in the other three. Above the $50,000 level, the Democratic state Senate candidates made no gains against the Republican incumbents. But Democrats captured two of the lower-income districts last night (the 18th and 32nd) and lost narrowly in the third (the 14th), vastly improving on Democratic performance in those districts last November, and suggesting the party and its union allies successfully targeted working-class whites in the recall race.

          Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett and now former-Sen. Russ Feingold each ran at about 40 percent in the 14th and 18th districts in 2010. But Democrats running in those districts’ recall elections Tuesday carried 48 and 51 percent of the vote, respectively. Barrett and Feingold did better in the 32nd district, winning close to half of the votes last November, and Democrat Jennifer Shilling also improved there, gathering 55 percent of votes cast. The Democratic Senate candidates all pulled close to Obama’s rates of support when he narrowly carried their districts in 2008.

          There were no exit polls conducted in the recall election. But no more than a quarter of residents are college-educated in any of those three districts, and each is at least 90 percent white. Democratic gains could hardly have come from anywhere else but blue-collar whites. By contrast, the Democrats running in the more affluent state Senate districts yesterday failed to improve on the 2010 performance of Barrett and Feingold. ……………..

      2. Locke, a gain is a gain.

        Sure, picking up the Senate majority would have been great, but even you have to admit that picking up two Republican seats in advance of 2012 is still a victory for Democrats.

        What’s more, we can always try to recall some of the Republicans elected in 2010 starting in January of next year, so it’s not unreasonable we could flip the Senate before the 2012 election.

        1. Sure, picking up the Senate majority would have been great, but even you have to admit that picking up two Republican seats in advance of 2012 is still a victory for Democrats.

          If that’s the bar you set, then sure. But that’s not at all where you guys set it. It was all about taking back the Senate. This was the “most important election ever.” It was sold as a referendum on Walker & his policies. In that regard, how can you view it as anything but a failure?

          Those two state senate seats gained only cost you – what $15 million a piece? And expended a ton of energy. And if that flake from the 12th manages to pull an upset?

          Step back for a moment. Think about it from the perspective of an independent/swing voter. Hell, even your typical, middle-of-the-road Democrat who votes but doesn’t follow things as closely, doesn’t see politics as a religious, life & death thing. They hate the constant barrage of campaign ads. They loathe the interruption of phone calls and don’t understand why people are calling them when they’re on the Do Not Call list.

          Do you really believe there wasn’t a cost in terms of perception/goodwill? Do you really believe there’s no fatigue or even backlash waiting for organizers of further recalls? What about the people who aren’t quite true believers? How many of them give up? Would you really trade all of that for 2 seats? For 1?

          Seriously, when facing the Wisconsin Republican Party, you’re better off with a DLG (Don’t Lose the Game) quarterback. Just give them time, they’ll screw it up themselves. Instead you’ve gone with an old Brett Favre. He’ll win you a game or two all by himself. And single-handedly lose as many. The pendulum in all likelihood would’ve swung back the other way on it’s own in 2012. I honestly think this hurts the Democrats chances of taking back either House in 2012 more than it helps.

          1. There’s some truth in the things you’re saying, Locke.

            However, I’d bring up 2 points:

            1) I’d say it would’ve hurt momentum for 2012 MORE if the Dems had been successful at taking the Senate majority. Then, they’d share the blame for both gridlock and outcomes. As it stands now, they’re still entirely the opposition party, and that matters a great deal. Not saying I wouldn’t rather they have won the majority, or that that wasn’t the goal, just saying from a purely cynical, strategic standpoint your point re:2012 momentum is probably wrong, and the actual outcome was probably the best outcome in terms of 2012.

            Feel like I can’t put a big enough disclaimer on that last sentence, because it makes me want to take a shower ASAP!

            2) What’s the alternative to a robust GOTV, grab-disengaged-voters-by-the-hand-and-drag-them-to-the-polls-operation? An even more disengaged and uninformed electorate? I hear what you’re saying, but neither party can or should ever apologize for GOTV contacts. People who are on those call lists and canvass lists are people who don’t always vote, which is known to the parties because it’s public info.

            1. 1) I’d say it would’ve hurt momentum for 2012 MORE if the Dems had been successful at taking the Senate majority….Feel like I can’t put a big enough disclaimer…

              Could be. Certainly a ton of conjecture on my part. We shall see. In all honestly, I’ll have long since forgotten by then – I don’t remember what I had for breakfast 🙂 – but in November ’12, feel free to dig this up & tell me I was wrong.

              As far as that last statement…I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying to step back & look at things from a cynical, strategic standpoint. I’ll I probably do it too much, but treating every second & every issue as if it’s life or death just isn’t healthy either.

              Re: point 2 – I don’t have a problem at all with GOTV efforts. Though I (and I’d wager most people) would rather political calls be forced to follow the DNC list too. Interruption marketing just doesn’t cut it for me. Knocking on doors is fine, provided they’re polite. But the endless supply of slimy ads – that never technically solicit votes, only “Call XX and tell them how you feel” are awful. Thanks McCain & Feingold. At the time, I’d have bet money you guys couldn’t author a bill that would make campaign financing worse. And I’d have lost that bet.

  4. Honestly? I’m not sure with the shenanigans that Ozaukee, Waukesha, and Washington County were doing again if we really only just won two. I’m not for conspiracy theories, but once during the election is a disappointment. Twice is a unfortunate. Thrice is a pattern. I won’t even get into the whole principle that those counties also barred poll workers to watch who goes in and out.

    That being said, Pasch was going to be taken out anyway eventually, with how it was redistricted. No Milwaukee. Darling can keep her comfortable spot for the rest of eternity now.

  5. Dale Schultz voted against Walker’s budget and is now the tie breaking vote

  6. Is the Siren the only one who was dismayed with the immediate and reactionary reflex to yell “cheaters” by Zelinski before all the votes were counted? Of course the antics of Waukesha are real but accusing such on local tv with no proof only makes Dems look like sore losers. It was poor form.

    Also State Dems were floating internal polling last week claiming 4 possible wins. Dumb move to raise expectations that way especially when many of us don’t believe they understand their own numbers.

  7. Mike Tate seems to be saying today that the effort to recall Walker will be timed with the 2012 general election.

    If that’s the case we should start gathering petition signatures this November to recall Pam Galloway. If we can win two seats in historically republican districts we can win one in an historically democratic district.

  8. (In the chant of “this is what democracy looks like”)

    Ha ha ha ha-ha ha-ha ha ha!

    So when are you going to repeal the budget and budget repair bills that have led to Wisconsin running a (small) budget surplus? You need both houses of the legislature and the governorship…

    Even if you get 500,000 signatures for a recall election of Walker, how are you going to convince out of state entities to commit money to try and defeat him after they just got done throwing everything into taking three seats last night? Follow up: on what issues are you going to run? Fiscal austerity? Responsible leadership?

    Darling won her district by more votes than when she defeated Wasserman in 2008 (but I thought you guys were energized).

    Now that people do not have to join/pay union dues if they do not want to, how can you expect unions’ PACs to fork over as much money?

    Who says the fleebaggers are safe next week?

    You lefties had your shot. We tried it your way under Doyle and it failed. Wisconsin has clearly moved on and after throwing everything you had into getting 3 seats, you got 2.

    Wisconsin wins. You (by “you” I mean “government unions” and their shills) lose.

    That is what democracy looks like!

    1. Yes Cam and when we sign NAFTA the jobs will be flowing to the US. O and when we invade IRAQ we will get Osama Bin Laden and end the war on terror. When we extend the Bush tax cuts the economy will flourish…..your side has all the best ideas! Shitty memories but GREAT ideas.

      1. Here is just one of the GREAT ideas of the Left. Let as many people enter the country across the Mexican border as want to come in. Don’t ever hassle any of them. Let them put roots down in their new home. Let them take the jobs that US citizens might take if the economy continues to unravel. When there are enough of them here, give them amnesty. Make them citizens. Tell them how to vote. When times get bad, add them to the entitlement rolls. Discover that our pockets are not as deep as you thought. Start the cutbacks. One day, look around and see that it looks like Jolly Old England right here in America.

  9. The winners were not democrats nor republicans, the winners were conservative minded people aka tea baggers, who wish for responsible government prompting them to back true conservatives like Darling and turn their backs on non-conservatives like Hopper.
    No more taxation without representation, Nobama in 2012

  10. Jeff,

    I suggest you check this link for an adequate commentary on your response:

    When did your post become about “IRAQ” or NAFTA? How is that at all related to the recall elections?

    That kind of blathering response is akin to that of Graeme Zielinski, in the face of souring results for Sandy Pasch, alleging results tampering rather than accepting the voters’ will.

    As I said earlier, Wisconsin clearly has clearly benefitted from fiscal policies in the last 6 months. There is a budget surplus (albeit a small one), our debt to Minnesota has been paid, and the money from the Patients’ Compensation Fund and Transportation Fund that was illegally raided by Doyle has been returned.

    What about any of that is bad for Wisconsin? What ideas have the lefties presented in the last 6 months that are not handouts to the unions?

    So I say to unions that care more about their free pensions than state fiscal austerity (to the “shame” chant): Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

    1. Being in favor of quality education is somehow a “leftie” virtue? Since when?

      How many jobs bills has the legislature passed? They ran on jobs, right? How are we doing there?

      1. I know we lost a ton in Green Bay, the metro areas, so on, and I’m actually getting worried if I am going to be laid off. Even if my job is ‘recession proof’ — we never went through a recession on the level of the Great Depression which may hit us now. We rely on jobs being created in order for our business to run, if people are too scared to start a business we can’t actually run. That and honestly, I will feel guilty if anyone at my company I work at get laid off because they’re all so good. So even if I do stay, I will feel horrible for the other people I work with.

        The fact conservatives seem to be cheering at the drop in our economy, of being against liberals, Obama being a one term president, and common sense so much makes me sick to my stomach. Seems like everything of common decency and compassion is a liberal virtue now days.

    2. How do you define free pension? Do you even know who puts the money in for the WI pensions? Do you? You can look it up before you response so you do not look so stupid.

      1. Actually, I do know from where pensions come. However, I am more familiar with school districts than the state employees. A “free pension” would be one to which the employee does not contribute from his or her own salary.

        For state employees, the pensions are largely funded by the state’s taxpayers as part of the employees’ benefits packages. Most state employees contributed a certain percentage of their salaries toward their pensions. Now that the budget repair bill is law, the contributions that state workers are making are still less than those of federal employees.

        For teachers (before the budget repair bill), most pensions were almost entirely funded by the individual districts that employed the teachers (via the property taxes levied by the school districts). Not all of them funded the entire pension, most teachers did contribute toward their own pensions to some degree, although it varied quite a bit by district depending on what the union had negotiated with the individual school boards.

        Now, teachers (under state law) are contributing a greater percentage to their pensions that were previously funded by their districts. This, along with the increased contributions to their health care and the switch from WEA Trust as the insurance provider, have freed up a huge amount of money in these school districts that will make up for the $800 million cut in state aid statewide.

        In Kaukauna, they saved $1.4 million based on those changes, including $600,000 i nthe switch from WEA Trust. As a result, they were able to take on more faculty and lower their class sizes, and still have a surplus! They also waited to renegotiate the union contract until after the bill was in effect as law.

        Milwaukee also has $11 million that they did not previous have because of the changes in the bill. Mayor Barrett has since acknowledged it.

        It is working. Walker simply cut where he knew there was excess spending and did not need to cut services, jobs (yes, I know that there are positions that were not retained after some public workers retired), or raise taxes.

        Also, Jeff, you might do well to edit your posts.

        Morninmist, does that answer your question?

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