recall.jpg

The Union Defeat in Wisconsin

David Freddoso in this morning’s Washington Examiner:

An energized Democratic base was supposed to turn out yesterday….If Democrats could pick up three of the six seats under recall, they could win back the state Senate and block Gov. Scott Walker’s agenda.

Every Republican I spoke to before the election expressed pessimism. The expectations were clearly in favor of a Democratic takeover — so much so that Republicans in Wisconsin’s legislature took the extraordinary step of passing an early redistricting bill….

In the end, the union-backed Democrats picked up only two state Senate seats in Wisconsin last night, at a staggering cost in time, effort, and of course money. One of the seats was solidly Democratic, held by a Republican due to an apparent fluke of nature. The other was held by an alleged adulterer who had moved outside his district to live with his young mistress, and whose wife was supporting his recall.

As for the other four Republican incumbents the unions tried to recall, they didn’t end up coming very close. And remember — these weren’t just any Republican incumbents. These were the ones that the unions judged most vulnerable, which is why they collected petition signatures against them.

Remarkably good news–for Gov. Walker and the people of Wisconsin, of course, but also for Republicans everywhere.

Yes we can.

  1. Mel Foil

    Wisconsin’s lake home sellers (and teachers who have to spend the Summer at their primary residence) hardest hit.

  2. Ross C

    This makes me think that democracy can produce a result that favors the people over special interests.  Wisconsin will not go the way of California with an increasingly feckless legislature who refuse to carry out the basic responsiblilties of their office unless their union masters give them the nod to do so.

    Good news for America, but we are far from there.

  3. Paul A. Rahe
    C

    Peter, it’s not over yet. Next week,there will be a recall election with certain Democratic seats on the line. Were the Republicans to pick up a seat or two, it would do much, much greater damage to the morale of Wisconsin’s Progressives.

    My one fear is that this will deter Russ Feingold from taking on Scott Walker. Herb Kohl is retiring. We need his Senate seat in Republican hands. If there is a recall election aimed at Walker and Feingold runs for Governor, the latter is very apt to lose. The reforms that Walker proposed are doing a lot of good, and that good is highly visible — even in Democratic strongholds like Milwaukee. If, on the other hand, Feingold goes for the Senate seat . . . Well, he has name recognition. I hope that the Republicans find a strong candidate for that position.

  4. tabula rasa

    Big win for the Right.  One seat was lost from day one.  The other loss had the Republican incumbent in an alleged affair and his wife saying she’d vote against him. And he nearly won.  The “crown jewel,” the effort to unseat Alberta Darling, cost $8 million–and the Dems lost.  

    All it proves is that if unions waste tens of millions of the dues their members pay them, they can reduce the Republican advantage, but can’t kill it.

    This has to help the recall Walker effort.

  5. Owl of Minerva

    I was honestly surprised that the unions didn’t pull this off, and I think I was wrong to be pessimistic. I suppose I had assumed that the Badger State’s progressive past was the more permanent feature than its newly found fiscal restraint. It makes me wonder if all the hubbub about WI progressive reputation isn’t overstated or somehow misunderstood. Progressives made inroads with populists while not becoming more populist itself, which means the temporary alliance progressive made with more populist types came to an end when progressives favored collective power and centralization of individual freedoms and local control.

  6. flownover

    Si, se puede !

    y las cabezas de queso tambien.

  7. MBF

    I called every race. After reviewing the Prosser/Kloppenburg results from the districts up for recall, it seemed clear.

    One of the seats was solidly Democratic, held by a Republican due to an apparent fluke of nature.

    He is a popular business man who owns a minor league baseball franchise in La Crosse. His name recognition alone kept him in that seat previously. In a situation like this, however, it just wasn’t enough.

     

    The other was held by an alleged adulterer who had moved outside his district to live with his young mistress, and whose wife was supporting his recall.

    And he still lost by a very narrow margin. This district will go back to the Republicans in 2012 because of the new redistricting lines.

    I live in the 8th district (R-Darling), which leans Republican, but also has portions that are extremely radical leftist. I live in the leftist part. I had union canvassers come to my door at least a dozen times in the last two months. Every single one of them was from out of state. These unions wasted a fortune of the money they extort from middle class workers.

  8. MBF
    Paul A. Rahe:  If, on the other hand, Feingold goes for the Senate seat . . . Well, he has name recognition. I hope that the Republicans find a strong candidate for that position. · Aug 10 at 8:08am

    Former RINO governor Tommy Thompson is almost certain to run for the Herb Kohl seat.

    He will have some strong conservative challengers in the primary, but his popularity is still pretty high amongst casual voters of all political persuasions.

    If Thompson is the GOP nominee, he’ll win, but as Ron Johnson proved in 2010, we can also win with a true conservative in Wisconsin.

  9. Foxman
    flownover: Si, se puede !

    y las cabezas de queso tambien. · Aug 10 at 8:13am

    English please

  10. ctruppi

    Dr. Rahe, does the defeat yesterday and the State Supreme Court race a few months back create a bit of tentativeness on the part of national Dem donors to participate in the Walker recall effort?  I mean, this will be the beginning of ’12 and with a drastically weakend Obama to prop up, I would think that money from outside WI will stay out as these donors will have much bigger fish to fry.  Also, does this recall victory tell us anything about Obama in WI come Nov ’12?

  11. Paul A. Rahe
    C
    ctruppi: Dr. Rahe, does the defeat yesterday and the State Supreme Court race a few months back create a bit of tentativeness on the part of national Dem donors to participate in the Walker recall effort?  I mean, this will be the beginning of ’12 and with a drastically weakend Obama to prop up, I would think that money from outside WI will stay out as these donors will have much bigger fish to fry.  Also, does this recall victory tell us anything about Obama in WI come Nov ’12? · Aug 10 at 8:28am

    I think Obama will lose Wisconsin in November, 2012 — not by a landslide, mind you — and I think money will be hard to come by for the Dems in Wisconsin. The out-of-state money will stay out of state, and the public-sector unions at home will have a whole lot less to spend. My hope is that the Republicans pick up a seat or two next week in the recall elections. That would put the icing on the cake — and it would head off a possible party-switch by one RINO in the Wisconsin state senate. All of this hoopla strengthens our side.

  12. Underground Conservative

    Is this going to be the wave of the future, that every time a Republican majority makes a tough decision, they will have to face recall votes from an angry minority? This whole spectacle has been disgraceful.

    As many have already said, this is going to be a tough road back to sanity and we’ll have to fight it off state by state, county by county, city by city. Not fun, but Wisconsin gives me hope.

  13. Leslie Watkins
    Foxman

    flownover: Si, se puede !

    y las cabezas de queso tambien. · Aug 10 at 8:13am

    English please · Aug 10 at 8:2

    Yes we can! And so can the Cheese Heads! (hope that’s ok, flownover)

  14. Leslie Watkins

    Thanks for the inside baseball track on this stuff, Mark Belling Fan. Very informative!

    Mark Belling Fan

    Paul A. Rahe:  If, on the other hand, Feingold goes for the Senate seat . . . Well, he has name recognition. I hope that the Republicans find a strong candidate for that position. · Aug 10 at 8:08am

    Former RINO governor Tommy Thompson is almost certain to run for the Herb Kohl seat.

    He will have some strong conservative challengers in the primary, but his popularity is still pretty high amongst casual voters of all political persuasions.

    If Thompson is the GOP nominee, he’ll win, but as Ron Johnson proved in 2010, we can also win with a true conservative in Wisconsin. · Aug 10 at 8:26am

  15. Cas Balicki
    Mark Belling Fan: I had union canvassers come to my door at least a dozen times in the last two months. Every single one of them was from out of state. These unions wasted a fortune of the money they extort from middle class workers. · Aug 10 at 8:21am

    I hope you kept the canvassers on your door step arguing for your support for as long as you could keep them there. It is a political canvassing mistake to be on the receiving end of one of these calls and not take up as much of the canvasser’s time as possible. Remember every minute the canvasser spends with you, he cannot spend identifying his voters so as to get them out on election day. I used to love this stuff. I can still shut down a conversation in record time while making the guy think that it was his idea. And when the shoe is on the other foot, I can be the most confused and indecisive voter you ever met. Good times on the door step.

  16. AmishDude
    Paul A. Rahe

    I think Obama will lose Wisconsin in November, 2012 — not by a landslide, mind you — and I think money will be hard to come by for the Dems in Wisconsin. · Aug 10 at 9:23am

    If they’re smart…but I still think the activist Left is delusional and will try to send money to WI, especially if Russ Feingold is involved somehow.  Obama, of course, is trying to suck up all possible Democrat donations for 2012 and if he thinks it’s a lost cause for him, WI will get no money.

    It’s difficult for me to believe that the Democrat party has not gone fully insane.  They have a lot more David Axelrods than they have Pat Caddells.

  17. Cas Balicki

    I forgot to add the absolute classic door step political head fake: Pretend you’re one of them and then request a ride to the polling station on election day. Hell! Just because they give you a ride to the polls on the busiest day of the campaign, a day when their resources are stretched to the breaking, doesn’t mean you have to vote for their guy. The down side is that you are likely to get a bunch of mail from the opposition between elections, but that, too, wastes opposition resources as you transfer their literature from the mailbox to the trash bin. 

  18. flownover
    Leslie Watkins

    Foxman

    flownover: Si, se puede !

    y las cabezas de queso tambien. · Aug 10 at 8:13am

    English please · Aug 10 at 8:2
    Yes we can! And so can the Cheese Heads! (hope that’s ok, flownover) · Aug 10 at 10:01am

    Thanks Leslie, actually I was going to tell Foxman to “press one”. 

  19. Peter Robinson
    C
    Owl of Minerva: I was honestly surprised that the unions didn’t pull this off, and I think I was wrong to be pessimistic. I suppose I had assumed that the Badger State’s progressive past was the more permanent feature than its newly found fiscal restraint.  · Aug 10 at 8:11am

    Me too.

  20. G C Andersen

    Anecdotally, a Wisconsin now former liberal I have occasional business contacts with was thoroughly disgusted by the union antics at their state capitol this spring, and appears to finally be “getting it”.  Don’t know if he is located in any of the targeted districts, but if he is, I am reasonably certain he did or will vote for the Republican – unthinkable for him as recently as a year ago.

    Does anybody know what the prospects are in the two remaining recall elections set for next week?  If one or both are close enough that there is a reasonable possibility for a GOP victory I would be willing to contribute a few bucks. 

Want to comment on stories like these? Become a member today!

You'll have access to:

  • All Ricochet articles, posts and podcasts.
  • The conversation amongst our members.
  • The opportunity share your Ricochet experiences.

Join Today!

Already a Member? Sign In