June 8, 2012 |
There was a wee dram of good news for Democrats coming out of the Wisconsin recall election Tuesday. While a solid majority of voters chose to retain their Republican governor, Scott Walker, a similar majority told exit pollsters they planned to vote for President Obama in November. It is small solace, however. Barack Obama carried Wisconsin with 56% of the vote in 2008 and has been expected to recapture the state with no great effort this year. To celebrate a likely victory that was already supposed to be in the bag seems like throwing a party because the sun rose again this morning.
June 7, 2012
There are reasons not to extract too many lessons from Gov. Scott Walker's convincing victory in the Wisconsin recall election Tuesday. For one thing, he faced a weak opponent in Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, and for another, he vastly outspent Barrett to win by 7 percentage points. Most important, voters seemed to understand that a recall wasn't the right remedy for Walker's actions. As California was forced to learn the hard way, the recall is a better device for removing a governor who has engaged in misconduct than for punishing one over policy disagreements.
June 7, 2012 |
Surrounded by dozens of supporters at an evening campaign rally in Madison on May 30, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Democratic candidate for governor in Wisconsin's tumultuous recall election, had something encouraging to tell the crowd: The fact that his opponent, Republican Gov. Scott Walker, was outspending him by more than 7 to 1 was no big deal. “He's got the mountains of money,” Barrett declared. “I've got you.” Now, Barrett probably wishes he'd had the mountains of money.
June 7, 2012 |
Scott Walker made history this week in Wisconsin, becoming the first governor ever to successfully beat back a recall attempt. That means in the entirety of these United States just two governors have been yanked from office before their terms expired, Lynn Frazier and Gray Davis. Of the two, just one survives: California's Davis. (Frazier, recalled in North Dakota in 1921, has been largely forgotten, save when people write stories like this one. He was subsequently elected to the U.S. Senate, where as a pacifist and isolationist, Frazier unsuccessfully sought a constitutional amendment outlawing warfare.)
June 5, 2012 |
It should surprise no one that I'm opposed to the recall of Scott Walker, the Wisconsin governor whose fate will be decided Tuesday. But that's only in part because I support what he's been trying to do in the Badger State. I'm also against recalls as a matter of principle. In 2003, I was one of the few conservatives opposed to the recall of Gray Davis, arguably the worst California governor in modern memory. Davis didn't deserve to stay in office, but the voters of California deserved to keep him. Democracy depends on accountability, not just for individual politicians but for their parties and programs.
May 30, 2012 |
MILWAUKEE - Just ahead of Tuesday's recall election, a new Marquette University Law School poll shows Republican Gov. Scott Walker holding a 52%-to-45% lead over Democratic challenger Tom Barrett among likely Wisconsin voters. The survey, conducted mostly before Walker and Barrett faced off Friday in the first of two televised debates, shows voter sentiment remarkably hardened, with just 3% of those questioned saying they were still undecided. While that may seem tough news for Democrats and public employee unions who led the charge for the recall, another new survey released by Democratic pollster Celinda Lake tells a different story of a race that has tightened to a dead heat, with both candidates polling at 49%. The Lake poll, conducted mostly after last week's debate, show independents turning toward Barrett.