Wisconsin recalls in favor of GOP

It looks like the unions lost and Republicans won in Wisconsin, as recall elections sparked by Gov. Scott Walker’s stand against collective bargaining for state employee unions retained the GOP majority in the state legislature:

Republicans held onto control of the Wisconsin Senate on Tuesday, beating back four Democratic challengers in a recall election despite an intense political backlash against GOP support for Gov. Scott Walker’s effort to curb public employees’ union rights.

Fueled by millions of dollars from national labor groups, the attempt to remove GOP incumbents served as both a referendum on Walker’s conservative revolution and could provide a new gauge of the public mood less than a year after Republicans made sweeping gains in this state and many others.

Two Democratic incumbents face recalls next week, but even if Democrats win those they will still be in the minority.

via GOP maintains control of Senate – TODAY’S TMJ4.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Joe

    GOP did lose two seats but they were elections that were largely not driven by the issues of the day. Kapanke’s loss was not at all surprising. That district changed its political stripes a while ago. His last victory was surprising to many observers.

    Hopper lost by about 1,200 (or s0) votes to the same woman he beat by 150 votes (or so) in the last election. On of the biggest factors in that election were Hopper’s personal problems. In the middle of a divorce and dating a women half his age. Allegedly, help his girlfriend secure a gov’t job.

    There are two more elections next week. Incumbent democrats facing recalls. I won’t predict a GOP pick up in either race, but the poling I have seen puts both races within the margin of error.

  • Joe

    GOP did lose two seats but they were elections that were largely not driven by the issues of the day. Kapanke’s loss was not at all surprising. That district changed its political stripes a while ago. His last victory was surprising to many observers.

    Hopper lost by about 1,200 (or s0) votes to the same woman he beat by 150 votes (or so) in the last election. On of the biggest factors in that election were Hopper’s personal problems. In the middle of a divorce and dating a women half his age. Allegedly, help his girlfriend secure a gov’t job.

    There are two more elections next week. Incumbent democrats facing recalls. I won’t predict a GOP pick up in either race, but the poling I have seen puts both races within the margin of error.

  • steve

    So, it was more of a referendum on unions then, right? Perhaps people are seeing the unions for what they have become, and they said “No, no se puede!”.

  • steve

    So, it was more of a referendum on unions then, right? Perhaps people are seeing the unions for what they have become, and they said “No, no se puede!”.

  • DonS

    Given the millions of dollars the unions poured into these elections, and the favorable press coverage the recalls received, from the point of view of the Democratic challengers, the results were a bitter disappointment to union bosses, I’m sure.

    People are beginning to wake up concerning the grievous excesses government employee unions have embedded into the system over the years — and how damaging those excesses are to the truly needy because of the funds they divert.

  • DonS

    Given the millions of dollars the unions poured into these elections, and the favorable press coverage the recalls received, from the point of view of the Democratic challengers, the results were a bitter disappointment to union bosses, I’m sure.

    People are beginning to wake up concerning the grievous excesses government employee unions have embedded into the system over the years — and how damaging those excesses are to the truly needy because of the funds they divert.

  • Joe

    I should point out that three of the four GOP senators (Darling, Harsdorf and Cowles) who retained their seats won with a larger margin of victory in the recalls than they won by in their last normal elections (in 2008).

    The fourth GOP seat retainer (Luther Olsen) had never faced a democratic challenger in the past 16 years.

  • Joe

    I should point out that three of the four GOP senators (Darling, Harsdorf and Cowles) who retained their seats won with a larger margin of victory in the recalls than they won by in their last normal elections (in 2008).

    The fourth GOP seat retainer (Luther Olsen) had never faced a democratic challenger in the past 16 years.

  • Tom Hering

    The effort to win back the state senate failed.

    And yet … after all the spin … the Democrats took two seats away from the Republicans. And the one Democrat who has already faced a recall election (last month) kept his. By a landslide.

    Big money? All six Republicans outspent their Democratic challengers by a good amount. Which makes the loss of two Republican seats all the more amazing.

    But, you know, it was the conservatives who were the poor, ragged Davids facing a Goliath. Ah well. I give conservatives credit for continued success with a very tired and highly questionable narrative.

  • Tom Hering

    The effort to win back the state senate failed.

    And yet … after all the spin … the Democrats took two seats away from the Republicans. And the one Democrat who has already faced a recall election (last month) kept his. By a landslide.

    Big money? All six Republicans outspent their Democratic challengers by a good amount. Which makes the loss of two Republican seats all the more amazing.

    But, you know, it was the conservatives who were the poor, ragged Davids facing a Goliath. Ah well. I give conservatives credit for continued success with a very tired and highly questionable narrative.

  • Bob

    “Wisconsin recalls in favor of GOP”

    This headline is blatantly inaccurate and incorrect.

    Actually, what happened, as Tom noted, is that the Democrats booted out 2 veteran Republican senators and replaced them with 2 Democrats — deep in Republican territory. They were also outspent, as Tom noted.

    The Repubs, like they’ve done since Richard Nixon days,
    tried Dirty Tricks, like running fake Democrats and moving the elections into August. And thank you, Wisconsin Repubs, for that — your fakery cost Wisconsin taxpayers $500,000. Sure, you’re all for shared sacrifice. Not.

    How do two Senate seats going from Repubs to the Dems equal
    “in favor of the GOP”? That’s Orwellian doublespeak.

  • Bob

    “Wisconsin recalls in favor of GOP”

    This headline is blatantly inaccurate and incorrect.

    Actually, what happened, as Tom noted, is that the Democrats booted out 2 veteran Republican senators and replaced them with 2 Democrats — deep in Republican territory. They were also outspent, as Tom noted.

    The Repubs, like they’ve done since Richard Nixon days,
    tried Dirty Tricks, like running fake Democrats and moving the elections into August. And thank you, Wisconsin Repubs, for that — your fakery cost Wisconsin taxpayers $500,000. Sure, you’re all for shared sacrifice. Not.

    How do two Senate seats going from Repubs to the Dems equal
    “in favor of the GOP”? That’s Orwellian doublespeak.

  • DonS

    Bob @ 6: “Deep in Republican territory”? Really? In 2008, all of the recall districts voted majority Obama. Dan Kapanke’s district was overwhelmingly pro-Obama in 2008. There was a reason these six districts were chosen for the recall effort:

    Rob Cowles’ District 2: Obama 52, McCain 46.

    Alberta Darling’s District 8: Obama 51, McCain 47.

    Sheila Harsdorf’s District 10: Obama 50, McCain 48.

    Luther Olsen’s District 14: Obama 52, McCain 47.

    And in the seats where incumbent Republicans Lost:

    Sen. Randy Hopper’s District 18: Obama 51, McCain 47.

    Sen. Dan Kapanke’s District 32: Obama 61, McCain 38.

    And this statement by Tom @ 5 is a nice red herring: “Big money? All six Republicans outspent their Democratic challengers by a good amount. Which makes the loss of two Republican seats all the more amazing.”

    Why? It conveniently doesn’t take into account union in-kind support, which dwarfed candidate spending in these races.

    Given the off-year election and the union passion and effort to preserve their fiefdoms and gravy trains, the survival of four Republicans in swing districts was a sharp rebuke to those pushing the recalls.

  • DonS

    Bob @ 6: “Deep in Republican territory”? Really? In 2008, all of the recall districts voted majority Obama. Dan Kapanke’s district was overwhelmingly pro-Obama in 2008. There was a reason these six districts were chosen for the recall effort:

    Rob Cowles’ District 2: Obama 52, McCain 46.

    Alberta Darling’s District 8: Obama 51, McCain 47.

    Sheila Harsdorf’s District 10: Obama 50, McCain 48.

    Luther Olsen’s District 14: Obama 52, McCain 47.

    And in the seats where incumbent Republicans Lost:

    Sen. Randy Hopper’s District 18: Obama 51, McCain 47.

    Sen. Dan Kapanke’s District 32: Obama 61, McCain 38.

    And this statement by Tom @ 5 is a nice red herring: “Big money? All six Republicans outspent their Democratic challengers by a good amount. Which makes the loss of two Republican seats all the more amazing.”

    Why? It conveniently doesn’t take into account union in-kind support, which dwarfed candidate spending in these races.

    Given the off-year election and the union passion and effort to preserve their fiefdoms and gravy trains, the survival of four Republicans in swing districts was a sharp rebuke to those pushing the recalls.

  • Joe

    Globally it is a loss for the dems because it means that they have no path toward repealing the Budget Repair Bill that sparked all of this. They needed to flip the Senate, Recall Walker and then take the assembly in 2012 to role back the agenda. They flubbed step one. Sure they get a re-do on the senate in 2012 as these same seats will be up for their normal elections (after GOP friendly redistricting); they won’t take them. As I noted, above the reps. that won increased their margins of victory over their last victories. It is even questionable that the dems will even attempt the recall of Walker. Mike Tate (Chair of the Wis. Dem. Party) has already changed the messaging. It used to be about the Walker recall as a certainty and now the guy can stop saying the words, potential and possible.

    Moreover, when 2012 roles around the dems will need to be focuses in winning Wisconsin for Obama not defeating Walker in a recall. Obama does not have a path to DC that does not include Wisconsin. Also, with Kohl resigning the dems will have to find and run a candidate to keep that US Senate seat. In light of the loss Tuesday, I doubt very much that the national dems will want to spend any resources on Walker. They’ll focus on the presidential and US Senate races.

    The dems (more correctly the unions) went all in Tuesday and lost. They might have flopped a straight but the GOP was holding a flush. At best, the dems proved they could beat a philanderer who barely won last go around and a guy they should have been last time.

  • Joe

    Globally it is a loss for the dems because it means that they have no path toward repealing the Budget Repair Bill that sparked all of this. They needed to flip the Senate, Recall Walker and then take the assembly in 2012 to role back the agenda. They flubbed step one. Sure they get a re-do on the senate in 2012 as these same seats will be up for their normal elections (after GOP friendly redistricting); they won’t take them. As I noted, above the reps. that won increased their margins of victory over their last victories. It is even questionable that the dems will even attempt the recall of Walker. Mike Tate (Chair of the Wis. Dem. Party) has already changed the messaging. It used to be about the Walker recall as a certainty and now the guy can stop saying the words, potential and possible.

    Moreover, when 2012 roles around the dems will need to be focuses in winning Wisconsin for Obama not defeating Walker in a recall. Obama does not have a path to DC that does not include Wisconsin. Also, with Kohl resigning the dems will have to find and run a candidate to keep that US Senate seat. In light of the loss Tuesday, I doubt very much that the national dems will want to spend any resources on Walker. They’ll focus on the presidential and US Senate races.

    The dems (more correctly the unions) went all in Tuesday and lost. They might have flopped a straight but the GOP was holding a flush. At best, the dems proved they could beat a philanderer who barely won last go around and a guy they should have been last time.

  • Pingback: The Progressive Magazine: Scott Walker, Fitzgerald, Take Us for Fools « The Fifth Column

  • Pingback: The Progressive Magazine: Scott Walker, Fitzgerald, Take Us for Fools « The Fifth Column

  • Tom Hering

    As I said, after all the spin, the Democrats took two seats away from the Republicans.

    Statewide, the Democrats got enough signatures to put six Republicans up for recall. The Republicans only managed to get three Democrats put up. So the signatures may be out there for a Walker recall. Would it take a lot of money? Or would it take a lot of motivated volunteers? Indeed, it might be better if the national unions stayed out of a Walker recall, as they tend to narrow the message to a purely pro-union one. Which didn’t help things this time around. (Wisconsinites who have doubts about the Walker agenda also have much broader concerns.) As for the national Democrats not helping with a Walker recall, well, they’ve been missing-in-action all along. Meh.

    “It conveniently doesn’t take into account union in-kind support, which dwarfed candidate spending in these races.” – Don @ 7.

    As you conveniently don’t take into account all the spending by out-of-state conservative groups. It was huge. Hopefully, they too will think it’s better to spend their money elsewhere in 2012.

  • Tom Hering

    As I said, after all the spin, the Democrats took two seats away from the Republicans.

    Statewide, the Democrats got enough signatures to put six Republicans up for recall. The Republicans only managed to get three Democrats put up. So the signatures may be out there for a Walker recall. Would it take a lot of money? Or would it take a lot of motivated volunteers? Indeed, it might be better if the national unions stayed out of a Walker recall, as they tend to narrow the message to a purely pro-union one. Which didn’t help things this time around. (Wisconsinites who have doubts about the Walker agenda also have much broader concerns.) As for the national Democrats not helping with a Walker recall, well, they’ve been missing-in-action all along. Meh.

    “It conveniently doesn’t take into account union in-kind support, which dwarfed candidate spending in these races.” – Don @ 7.

    As you conveniently don’t take into account all the spending by out-of-state conservative groups. It was huge. Hopefully, they too will think it’s better to spend their money elsewhere in 2012.

  • Tom Hering

    By the way, if the two Democrats hold on to their seats in the August 16 recall elections, the Republicans will have a majority of one (1) in the Senate. Which means it will take just one moderate Republican to stop extreme Walker/Fitzgerald legislation from now on. Or just one Republican who can be convinced (by the opposition in his/her district) to care more about re-election than loyalty. Walker seems to understand this, as just this week, he’s suddenly changed his tune from “I don’t negotiate” to “we need more bipartisanship.” Well, I think he’s gonna get some. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    By the way, if the two Democrats hold on to their seats in the August 16 recall elections, the Republicans will have a majority of one (1) in the Senate. Which means it will take just one moderate Republican to stop extreme Walker/Fitzgerald legislation from now on. Or just one Republican who can be convinced (by the opposition in his/her district) to care more about re-election than loyalty. Walker seems to understand this, as just this week, he’s suddenly changed his tune from “I don’t negotiate” to “we need more bipartisanship.” Well, I think he’s gonna get some. :-D


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X