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Personal Qualms About Recall Election For Governor Scott Walker

April 22, 2012

No one can read this blog without knowing I am not pleased with the fact collective bargaining in Wisconsin was attacked.  Readers have been made aware of my distress over the manner in which it all happened in 2011. 

I have given my views on many aspects to the months of rancor that took place at the Capitol, and came to the conclusion that based on the destruction of collective bargaining, along with the tortured process that surrounded it there could only be one path taken. 

Governor Scott Walker must be recalled.

If only it were that easy.

How is it then that just two weeks before the Democratic primary to select a candidate to challenge Walker in the June recall I am not pleased with how the election is proceeding,  and questioning the recall itself?

As a liberal Democrat I should be elated at the chance to remove a most conservative governor.  On one level I am hopeful that will the be the case, and yet on another level I am troubled by the lack of focus on what this recall should be about.

On Sunday morning a front page story greeted me from the Wisconsin State Journal.

Democrats vying to oust the first-term Republican say his cuts to state education funding are a top issue in the campaign, and it’s as important or even more so than the issue that sparked the recall effort — the governor’s rollback of public employee collective bargaining.

“It’s the major issue in the campaign why we’re recalling the governor,” said Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma, one of four Democrats in the May 8 primary. “It comes back to the issue of priorities.”

As much as I find Walker troubling in many ways, I also know that education policy should not be a reason to force a recall election.  I come from the firm conviction that recall elections are for the extraordinary incidents that might take place which requires citizens to gather signatures and take collective action.

Arguing policy directions or which set of numbers is most reflective of positive or negative movements with our public schools should be fought out at regularly scheduled legislative elections and gubernatorial contests.    Such matters are not legitimate reasons to have a recall.

History shows that everyone tends to agree that recall elections should be rarely used, as they are very divisive and can have a corrosive effect on the political process.

I am not in favor of a recall election that can be cast as a ‘do over” where the typical issues that get debated in a normal cycle are recast in an effort to get a desired outcome.  That is not the mission for a recall election.

This recall election for Walker in June should be about the need for collective bargaining, and the rights of workers.  It should be about the political process and the need to have a fair and consistent route to legislative action, regardless of which party is in power.

This recall should be about the fact Walker never once spoke in the 2010 campaign about removing collective bargaining, but once inaugurated chose to undertake a most partisan power-play.   The recall should be about how strangulated Walker wanted the legislative process to play out with less than a week to have both houses of the legislature act on collective bargaining.  The citizenry of the state were to be taken for granted.

If Democrats are not able to rise up to the task of making the case for unions with a full-throated message or that the process of governing is central to all else, and then pound home the fact that this is the reason for the recall than perhaps we all need to think again about what is happening in Wisconsin.

I understand the politics behind the reason for including a laundry list of grievances for the recall, but I am most sincere in rejecting that way of thinking.  There needs to be more awareness of the gravity to this recall, and how important the original driving force was that brought this to fruition.

As one who gets active readership on this blog I very well could have hunkered down and remained quiet on an issue that I assume will not be warmly greeted by many who stop here.  Since I do try and be as frank and honest with my readers as possible, there is no way to not speak to what I am feeling.

The recall of Scott Walker should go forward, but let it proceed on the issues that brought everyone to the dance. 

Collective bargaining and the political process that ran amok.

  1. skip1930 permalink
    April 25, 2012 9:34 PM

    I’ve been thinking about what Dekerivers said here.–> “This recall election for Walker in June should be about the need for collective bargaining, and the rights of workers. It should be about the political process and the need to have a fair and consistent route to legislative action, regardless of which party is in power. ”

    OK. ‘Collective bargaining’. If it stays, small towns like Sturgeon Bay will be forced to anni-up the same pay and benefit package offered to larger cities who can more easily afford these higher packages. Therefore more money out of the Sturgeon Bay pool of tax money [sometimes called other peoples money] is necessary used for those affected by collective bargaining. So this change is a tool that saved tax payer money, kept the union labor force employed and not lay-ed off or terminated. And in fact saved enough money to lower our taxes while keeping the same services.

    Those affected by Collective bargaining [including police and fire personel who are not affected by the changes in Collective bargaining] are roughly 8% of the working population. Not a lot of people~but a few people costing the resident of the state a lot of money per individual. This doesn’t leave many dollars for other important city functions.

    If we are to be fair about this, like the president has said, than everybody, union or not, ought to pay a percent [currantly 12%] for the benefits that they will enjoy during their career and afterwords in retirement.

    One is reminded recently of the school teacher in a suburb of Milwaukee who pitched a bitch because now she will not be able to retire at age 47. But will have to work at teaching, 180 days a year, until age 56 [I think it was]. When she does retire she will still walk away with a $60,000 a year benefit package that she paid nothing for…until the Collective bargaining change made her pay for a few short years, around 12%. Certainly not enough to warrent her lavish retirement. I see nothing fair about this set-up. She should work in a civilian corporation and see how far and how long she lasts before her demands to entitlement of other people’s money find her outside looking in and unemployed and maybe because of an entitlement attitude not employable in the private sector. No self respecting corporation hires a whiner.

    Workers don’t really have ‘rights’. If anything workers are ‘rented’ for a period of time, paid what the market will bare and kissed goodbye. The work done is continued by others who gain or stay or are compensated on merit. Not longevity, or time on the job.

    In the state chambers, the political process started well, was interupted by those who wanted to stop the process, however was brought to the floor…no need for debate when one side leaves the state, which did nothing but stall the inevitable. This had to be done, and done immediately to stop the flow of red ink. To stop spending the money we did not have. Stop digging the money pit deeper.

    Legislative action that Dekerivers wants would hogtie any action into inaction, endless arguments while the flow of red ink cover up Wisconsin. The rarely used procedure to get this Budget Repair Bill passed was first created years ago by the Democrats and used again here by the Republicans. Of course what’s fair for one party is fair for the other party. Regardless of which party is in power. Right?

    The new incoming Governor had to act on what he saw, not on what the whiners wanted, and what is best for all the residents of the state. He didn’t have to announce his intentions. Learn the situation, assess and act. Which is what happened.

    Who but 8% is complaining?


  2. Patrick permalink
    April 23, 2012 5:25 PM

    Democrats can’t win on collective bargaining because the public isn’t with them on that issue. The author is right that this is about raw political power. WEAC and other unions want the power to force teachers–and other employees–to contribute dues so that they can exercise the power that the money will bring. Its that simple. I wonder when the sleepy weac members will ask themselves how weac funds all these activities if members contribute only 3 bucks toward political activities? If I were still a member–and thank God I’m not–I would call Mary and ask to see the books.

    As for this notion that Walker is some big liar or that he negated the process, really? The fleebaggers made sure that anyone who wasn’t completely deaf to politics understood the issues. If anyone really cared about honesty of the “process,” they would have recalled Doyle.

  3. M.R. permalink
    April 23, 2012 2:29 PM

    @commoncents–What about Falk’s and Barret’s abject refusal to outline their plan for balancing the budget upon repeal of Act 10 as outlined in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal? Is that being decietful? Why won’t you hold Democrats to the same standart that you hold Walker? Do you think we can’t see through that?

  4. CommonCents permalink
    April 23, 2012 9:12 AM

    The repeal of collective bargaining is what sparked the massive opposition against Walker. It is an extremely important issue. However, while repeal of collective bargaining and extreme education and health care cuts are important issues, what we should all be focused on is the fact that Walker is consistently dishonest and decietful and has no respect for political or government process. That decietful behavior included his failure to tell the electorate of his plan to repeal collective bargaining. We can not afford to continue to have a governor who consistently lies and twists the truth.

    I agree with windy33. Those who have not had better wake up soon. June 6th will be too late.

  5. skip1930 permalink
    April 23, 2012 6:12 AM

    windy33, says ” we will lose all rights and all unions will be gone and he will also strip away the labor laws we have on the books. the destruction we will see will be enormous.”

    One the labor laws are in place and will still be law. And still be protecting labor.

    Two. What ‘rights’ ? Collective bargaining was never a ‘right’ but rather a privilege granted to unions in [about] 1939 by the Wagner Act. And like any privilege, it can be revoked. Just like a driver’s licences.

    Three. What is going to be destroyed? We still have schools, roads, a process of government, A elected legislation. ect.

    Don’t like it? Wait for the next election cycle. Maybe your guys and gals will win then. Don’t bitch about it. Work with it. I recall that your guys ran away to Illinois. Which is in far worst shape than Wisconsin.


  6. April 22, 2012 8:35 PM

    i hate to say this but if we lose this recall we are all screwed and those that love walker right now won’t feel some of his effects until after the recall. then it will be to late. and what he can do to this state in 2 1/2 more years i don’t even want to think about. no one will recognize wisconsin ever again. we will lose all rights and all unions will be gone and he will also strip away the labor laws we have on the books. the destruction we will see will be enormous.

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