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Wisconsin government goes to highest bidders
as Walker scores historic recall election win

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is feeling the love, after voters backed him Tuesday for a nine-point victory, making him the first governor to win a recall election in U.S. history.

And to think, all it took to bury the chances of Walker’s Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, was $45.6 million, most of it from outside interests and individuals.

If any nonwealthy Wisconsinites voted for Walker in spite of reservations about him and what he’s doing, they had better fasten their seatbelts and prepare for a rough ride in the months ahead. Walker was a conservative Republican, anything-to-win bully before the recall. Now, expect him to feel liberated to pursue his radical, union-busting, trickle-down agenda with no holds barred.

After all, Walker has fat-cat Republicans and special interests all over the country willing to write big checks for him. His state is well stocked with people who can be persuaded by the propaganda those big checks buy to vote against their own best interests.

So for Walker, the Koch brothers, et al, it’s blue skies and green lights all the way in Wisconsin.

No one should be surprised if the repercussions spread beyond Wisconsin. Middle-class people and unions in other states with Walker-type Republican governors and Republican-controlled legislatures could well see their powers that be emboldened to do more and worse in the months and years ahead.

We hope for their sake the middle-class and working-class voters who gave Walker his easily bought victory don’t end up being road kill when the election’s buyers reap their rewards.

And make no mistake, those election buyers will reap their rewards.

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P.S.: This Mother Jones item, toward the end, provides revealing insight into the kind of big-money interests backing Walker. Think fracking.

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11 Comments

  1. Jolly Roger says:

    The DNC and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (who I just penned a love post to) deserve a lot of the blame for this. While they tsk-tsk’ed this issue, the Rushpubliscums treated it as a top priority.

    The national dems threw Wisconsin residents under a bus. I cannot imagine that they’ll forget about it.

  2. Jack Jodell says:

    Last night’s election results were devastating. They have destroyed the hopes of millions of Americans who are NOT wealthy. An utter disaster for poor and working Americans nationwide. The worst is yet to come.

  3. Depressing as hell but around 18% – admittedly not an impressive amount – who voted to keep Walker still support Obama who has a pretty good lead in the state. Apparently some feel that disagreeing with Walker’s politics is not an impeachable offense, that elected officials should only be impeached in clear cases of wrong doing of a criminal nature. That may come along sooner than later.

    I really know nothing about Barrett but wonder why he can’t seem to attract voters.

    Of course the right is making hay and predicting that Walker’s win bodes ill for Obama and the Democrats in November. I’m not so sure about that. Hopefully it will serve to galvanize the Democrats into working their lazy butts off.

    David Frum has a brief article on all this in Daily Beast:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/06/what-did-wisconsin-mean-and-not.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  4. Demeur says:

    On a bright note the rethugs didn’t take the state senate which is now democratic :-)

  5. S.W. Anderson says:

    J.R., I don’t know what Wasserman Schultz’s position behind closed doors was on getting involved in the Wisconsin recall and doubt you do either. If blame is to be assigned speculatively, David Axelrod and David Plouffe are much more likely to be deserving.

    Jack, disappointing and a setback, agreed. Devastating for Wisconsin union people, agreed. Elsewhere, maybe; it’s too soon to tell. Things looked bleak for the Brits after Dunkirk and for us yanks after Bataan, but neither setback was decisive.

    L.P., I get the sense that heretofore Barrett wasn’t the kind of Democrat who could make liberals and organized labor people’s hearts beat faster. A nice, honest, decent middle roader whom Republicans don’t find all that uncomfortable as their mayor. The poor guy only had a couple of months and limited budget to work with. Walker had a 14-month head start and seven-to-1 funding advantage, plus a small army of well-known Republicans stumping the state for him. Barrett probably would have lost by a bigger margin if he hadn’t already run for governor in 2010.

    Demeur, that is a bright note. But (playing devil’s advocate again) it’s dimmed somewhat by the fact Democratic challengers won only one state senate seat last night.

  6. Jolly Roger says:

    That doesn’t wash, SW. Her public statements were incredibly damaging to the morale of those fighting to remove Walker. I don’t care what she may or may not have done behind the scenes-her own words are out there.

  7. okjimm says:

    ok…. for a good view, or at least another view, I would like to direct to a Wisco Blogger that is very articulate and astute

    http://foxtrot-echo.blogspot.com/

    who makes some great observations, one being that quite a few folks had ‘recall’ burnout…ie ” we do not like Walker as much as think he should be allowed to complete his term’

    Recalling the State Senate seat in the south is huge…seeing as the legislature is out of session and will not reconvene with a Republican majority.

    Another notable occurrence tues night was the challenge to Scott Fitzgerald by Lori Compas. Fitzgerald has run virtually unopposed for his seat since 1994 in a very Republican district. Lori took out her own papers, gathered her own signatures, campaigned for only a few months and….

    “Scott Fitzgerald won with 60.4 percent of the vote compared to 38.6 percent for Lori Compas. But in Beaver Dam, it was Compas with 57.7 percent and Fitzgerald with 41.2 percent. Compas also came out on top in the Town of Beaver Dam by four votes.”

    The telling point is NOT that she lost by a large margin… but THAT she had never run for office, had never held an office, received NO support from State Dems…. and kicked the second most powerful person in the state in the NUTZ. Remember…. he has basically run unopposed for eighteen years. It ain’t over yet.

  8. Tom Harper says:

    What Demeur said. The Wisconsin senate is now under Dem. control as a result of Tuesday’s vote. It’s a tiny silver lining anyway.

    As much as Walker’s victory sucks, I don’t think this portends anything disastrous for future elections. Obama is still ahead in Wisconsin, as Leslie said.

    When Ohio voters overturned John Kasich’s union-castrating law last year, at least one rightwing pundit dismissed the whole thing because unions and Democrats had outspent conservatives 4 to 1. Since unions were outspent 7 to 1 in the Wisconsin vote, I’m waiting to hear the same dismissal from the Right.

  9. S.W. Anderson says:

    J.R., I would be be surprised if the fired-up union people and Wisconsin Dems could be demoralized by Wasserman Schultz because I doubt they saw her as being that important. Down the line, in her own career, she might one day learn one hand washes the other — or doesn’t.

    okjimm, thanks for pointing out that post. It provides a distinctly different POV and plenty to think about. I agree with parts of it, although I have trouble believing many people voted to keep Walker and then to teach him a lesson voted to replace a Republican senator with a Democrat. I suppose it’s possible, but it seems a stretch. I hope it won’t be once and done for Compas. She sounds like the kind of spunky challenger your state and the country need in Congress.

    Tom, we’ll see the Winter Olympics held in hell before Republicans apply the same rationale to the Wisconsin outcome that they found so agreeable for the Ohio outcome. I hope Obama will remain ahead in Wisconsin and that labor will let bygones be bygones. We’ll just have to see.

    One and all, anyone read that Mother Jones article?

  10. Dave Dubya says:

    Big Money unually gets it way eventually. Now, as the MJ article terms it, we have not only Big Money, but “dark money”. That’s got to be changed if democracy can survive.

    1. S.W. Anderson says:

      Absolutely. The two reforms this country most needs right now are restoration of the Glass Steagall Act, or at least its major features, and reversal of the Citizens United decision, preferably with a constitutional amendment.