azspot

And therein hangs a tale: about grassroots Democrats who act like activists, who hold that slaps are sometimes what it takes to get the political job done, and Democratic leaders who act like you can solve all political problems with a hug. Which, pretty much, was Tom Barrett’s entire election platform. As I explained here in May, the leading candidate in the primary to face Walker in the recall ran with a take-no-prisoners strategy to restore union rights: she pledged to veto any budget that didn’t restore collective bargaining. That meant that if she won the statehouse, Republican legislators in Madison could hold on to their anti-union law only on pain of shutting down the state.

Then, out of nowhere, little more than two months before Election day, a new candidate announced: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Two days earlier, he’d had a $400-a-plate fundraising luncheon, closed to the media, hosted by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Here was a signal: Barrett was the Democratic Party Establishment’s man. And the Democratic Establishment, in this age of Barack Obama, does things in a very certain way: it never takes any prisoners, never takes the most gutsy path (this is even true for the vaunted “tough guy” Rahm Emanuel, whose standing orders as White House chief of staff was never to take on any fights unless victory was assured in advance).

Barrett immediately announced a different plan to reverse the anti-union law if he became governor: He would call a special legislative session, in which he would introduce a standalone repeal bill. He would make it hard for his side on purpose. He would make the lions lay down with the lambs, Obama style. He would sell himself to the electorate as the peacemaker. He would follow the Bill Clinton strategy, triangulate against his own side. If swing voters hate union cronyism, he would prove he wasn’t a union crony. “I’m not the union guy,” he would say on the campaign trail – he was the guy the unions didn’t want; they even tried to talk him out of running.

There are many problems with this strategy. The first has to do with the way the media works. Programmed robotically to see any political issue in polarized terms, journalists will register “leftist” pugnacity no matter how conciliatory a Democrat behaves in actual fact – as with Bill Clinton in the 1990s and Barack Obama now. The second problem is that it requires Democrats to simultaneously surrender the actual benefits of being bold, tough partisans. The Republicans enjoy the grassroots energy of a fierce field army on the ground convinced they are fighting for nothing less than the survival of civilization (meanwhile they harvest moderates in a far more efficient way – using their money advantage to saturate the electorate with slick TV ads). Democrats appeal to moderates as their activist strategy – although, in an old saw Democrats have long ago forgotten, moderates are the people who don’t knock on doors on election day. Liberal activists who show up do so reluctantly – having already seen their candidate sell them out.

kileyrae
The truth of the matter is as president of the United States I’ve got a lot of responsibilities. I was supportive of Tom and I’ve been supportive of Tom. Obviously I would have loved to see a different result, but the broader principle, that what we want is an economy that is not just focused on the few at the top, but is a broad based economy that invests in our future… I think that’s something that in everything that I do shows that those are the values I care deeply about.
President Obama on the outcome of the Wisconsin recall and the criticism against him for not taking a more active role in the campaign. (source)
pantslessprogressive
pantslessprogressive:

“At the moment, [Governor Scott] Walker is benefiting from a loophole in Wisconsin election law that allows candidates to raise unlimited funds between the beginning of petition gathering and the deadline for the election board to authorize a recall election. Petition gathering began in November and the election board might not be ready to authorize a recall until March.
Under normal rules, donors are limited to $10,000 contributions and nonaffiliated groups are limited to $43,128.
About 45 percent of the $4.5 million Walker collected during the last two reporting periods originated from outside groups giving $250,000 or more.
WisPolitics.com, an online media outlet in Madison, reported that two contributions totaling $500,000 came from Texas billionaire Bob Terry, who was a major financier of Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, the group known for the attack campaign against Democratic Sen. John Kerry’s presidential bid in 2004.” - Mark Guarino
Wisconsin’s Scott Walker poised to bury recall foes in money chase

pantslessprogressive:

At the moment, [Governor Scott] Walker is benefiting from a loophole in Wisconsin election law that allows candidates to raise unlimited funds between the beginning of petition gathering and the deadline for the election board to authorize a recall election. Petition gathering began in November and the election board might not be ready to authorize a recall until March.

Under normal rules, donors are limited to $10,000 contributions and nonaffiliated groups are limited to $43,128.

About 45 percent of the $4.5 million Walker collected during the last two reporting periods originated from outside groups giving $250,000 or more.

WisPolitics.com, an online media outlet in Madison, reported that two contributions totaling $500,000 came from Texas billionaire Bob Terry, who was a major financier of Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, the group known for the attack campaign against Democratic Sen. John Kerry’s presidential bid in 2004.” - Mark Guarino

Wisconsin’s Scott Walker poised to bury recall foes in money chase

pantslessprogressive
mohandasgandhi:

Conservatives Plot to Burn, Shred, and Sabotage Scott Walker Recall Effort

A group of self-identified conservatives say they plan to sabotage the effort to recall Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker,  which begins on Tuesday, by burning and shredding recall petitions  they’ve collected and misleading Wisconsinites about the recall process.
These plans, discussed in Facebook posts that were first reported by the blog PolitiScoop, entail posing as recall supporters and  gathering signatures, only to later destroy the petitions. They also  include telling Wisconsinites that they can only sign one recall  petition (which is false—they can sign different petitions as long as  they each correspond to a different organization) and directing  signature collectors to the homes of registered sex offenders. (Requests  for comment were sent to each of the Facebook posters who allowed  messages from other users.)
In one post, Will R. Jenkins says, “I’ll be able to destroy 15-20K  signatures.” If things go well, he adds, he might even “be able to  destroy upwards of 15-20% of the entire collected ballots in the state  of Wisconsin”:

Click here to view the Facebook posts and even more here.

Michael Maistelman, a Wisconsin attorney and election law expert who   reviewed screenshots of the comments, says the postings could raise  serious legal issues if the plan is to tamper with official recall  petitions. “If a person fraudulently solicits recall petitions and then  destroys those petitions, they will probably go to jail,” Maistelman  says. “The law is very clear on this.”
[UDPATE]: Reid Magney, a spokesman from  Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board, says destroying or  defacing an official recall petition would violate state law. (Here’s the relevant statute.) Such a violation, he adds, would be a class I felony in Wisconsin, which carries a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to three-and-a-half years in jail.

Wisconsinites, be on the lookout for this sort of behavior come Tuesday. What’s been described above are premeditated felonies and these individuals were simply dumb enough to get caught. Familiarize yourself with how this recall is going to work and protect yourself against the inevitable GOP dirty tricks. Scott Walker is going down.

mohandasgandhi:

Conservatives Plot to Burn, Shred, and Sabotage Scott Walker Recall Effort

A group of self-identified conservatives say they plan to sabotage the effort to recall Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker, which begins on Tuesday, by burning and shredding recall petitions they’ve collected and misleading Wisconsinites about the recall process.

These plans, discussed in Facebook posts that were first reported by the blog PolitiScoop, entail posing as recall supporters and gathering signatures, only to later destroy the petitions. They also include telling Wisconsinites that they can only sign one recall petition (which is false—they can sign different petitions as long as they each correspond to a different organization) and directing signature collectors to the homes of registered sex offenders. (Requests for comment were sent to each of the Facebook posters who allowed messages from other users.)

In one post, Will R. Jenkins says, “I’ll be able to destroy 15-20K signatures.” If things go well, he adds, he might even “be able to destroy upwards of 15-20% of the entire collected ballots in the state of Wisconsin”:

Click here to view the Facebook posts and even more here.

Michael Maistelman, a Wisconsin attorney and election law expert who reviewed screenshots of the comments, says the postings could raise serious legal issues if the plan is to tamper with official recall petitions. “If a person fraudulently solicits recall petitions and then destroys those petitions, they will probably go to jail,” Maistelman says. “The law is very clear on this.”

[UDPATE]: Reid Magney, a spokesman from Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board, says destroying or defacing an official recall petition would violate state law. (Here’s the relevant statute.) Such a violation, he adds, would be a class I felony in Wisconsin, which carries a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to three-and-a-half years in jail.

Wisconsinites, be on the lookout for this sort of behavior come Tuesday. What’s been described above are premeditated felonies and these individuals were simply dumb enough to get caught. Familiarize yourself with how this recall is going to work and protect yourself against the inevitable GOP dirty tricks. Scott Walker is going down.

pantslessprogressive
pantslessprogressive:

”’Saw about two or three more, four or five, then I saw agents getting out of the car and putting on their jackets, that’s what identified it, FBI on the back of the jackets,’ said Madison resident Dale Reichers.
Reichers says he saw the law enforcement teams show up at his neighbor’s house before 7 a.m. His neighbor is Cynthia Archer, one of Governor Walker’s most trusted allies—until last month, when she abruptly resigned her $124,000-a-year job as deputy secretary of the agency that oversees state contracts.
Archer had followed Walker to the governor’s office last November after she was his top county staffer in Milwaukee. Walker’s Milwaukee chief of staff Tom Nardelli also followed to the capitol and like Archer also quit his $90,000 new state job this summer.
As FBI agents searched Archer’s home, she wasn’t seen. Witnesses saw at least one large box being removed and put into an agent’s car.”
Probe surrounding Wisconsin governor apparently growing

pantslessprogressive:

”’Saw about two or three more, four or five, then I saw agents getting out of the car and putting on their jackets, that’s what identified it, FBI on the back of the jackets,’ said Madison resident Dale Reichers.

Reichers says he saw the law enforcement teams show up at his neighbor’s house before 7 a.m. His neighbor is Cynthia Archer, one of Governor Walker’s most trusted allies—until last month, when she abruptly resigned her $124,000-a-year job as deputy secretary of the agency that oversees state contracts.

Archer had followed Walker to the governor’s office last November after she was his top county staffer in Milwaukee. Walker’s Milwaukee chief of staff Tom Nardelli also followed to the capitol and like Archer also quit his $90,000 new state job this summer.

As FBI agents searched Archer’s home, she wasn’t seen. Witnesses saw at least one large box being removed and put into an agent’s car.”

Probe surrounding Wisconsin governor apparently growing

kileyrae
The race to determine control of the Wisconsin Senate has fallen in the hands of the Waukesha County clerk, who has already distinguished herself as incompetent, if not worse. She is once more tampering with the results of a consequential election and in the next hours we will determine our next course of action. For now, Wisconsin should know that a dark cloud hangs over these important results.

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate following possible evidence of election tampering in the 8th State Senate District race by County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus. Nickolaus is the same county clerk who “found” over 14,000 votes for David Prosser in Wisconsin’s Supreme Court race, and reported her results last yet again.

Her office has been suspected of election irregularities several times, culminating in Senator Tammy Baldwin asking for a DOJ investigation after the Prosser win. It’s about time, I’d say. Local news stations in Wisconsin are reporting an investigation is being launched.

(via cognitivedissonance)

Hey Republicans, I found your voter fraud.

(via kileyrae)

kileyrae
Even if Dems don’t take back the state senate in the end, it seems clear that the Wisconsin recall wars are shaping up as a dress rehearsal of sorts for the 2012 elections. Whatever happens, Wisconsin Dems have already succeeded in creating a true grassroots movement built around an unabashedly class-based set of themes that rely on a type of bare-knuckled class-warfare rhetoric that makes many national Dems queasy. In this sense, success in Wisconsin could offer a model for a more aggressive, populist approach for Dems in 2012.
Greg Sargent, in his Washington Post article “Are Dems About to Make History?” (via wisconsinforward)
brooklynmutt

wisconsinforward:

“Will the Democrats take this as a chance to go on offense?  Will national Democrats take a lesson from Wisconsin Democrats?” —Rachel Maddow.

Outstanding coverage of the FAA shutdown and union rights, plus a look back at Reagan’s firing of air traffic controllers.

pantslessprogressive
pantslessprogressive:

Wisconsin proposal would send $250 million to certified capital companies

Legislation that Gov. Scott Walker says will create jobs would provide hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to insurance companies, while giving control of a $250 million fund to out-of-state financial management companies that would not have to pay back the fund’s principal and would keep up to 80% of its profits. [read more]

pantslessprogressive:

Wisconsin proposal would send $250 million to certified capital companies

Legislation that Gov. Scott Walker says will create jobs would provide hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to insurance companies, while giving control of a $250 million fund to out-of-state financial management companies that would not have to pay back the fund’s principal and would keep up to 80% of its profits. [read more]