It’s increasingly looking like big money will win out in Wisconsin

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Polls show Governor Scott Walker widening his lead in the Wisconsin recall race – thanks in large part to $25 million in campaign contributions from out-of-state oligarchs. Walker is also outspending his Democratic opponent – Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett by 3-1 on TV ads. So Walker might escape next month, but this battle for the rights of working people in bigger than Wisconsin.

From Ohio – where voters repealed an anti-collective bargaining law – to Michigan where activists are taking on Governor Snyder’s radical financial managers law – to Indiana where labor is mobilized against the state’s recently passed right to work FOR LESS law – we need to keep fighting back against the right-wing assault on the Middle Class.

Thom Hartmann Administrator's picture
Thom Hartmann A...
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Sure, you may think so little of your fellow citizen that political opinions can be just "poured" into a voters empty head by watching a TV ad, however look closer and you will see that Gov Walker is leading a nation wide movement to reign in the vast runaway government/union complex.

You often comment on "economic equality" on your show. Don't you think it is unfair that the average prole has to pony up 2 to 3 times more pay for their equivalent positioned "government worker"?

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Calperson
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Dec. 11, 2010 9:21 am
So Walker might escape next month, but this battle for the rights of working people in bigger than Wisconsin.
I think that's probably right. It would account for why the DNC has decided not to pony up to try to even up the 20:1 money gap that is already driving this election. The State that gave us Joe McCarthy is reverting to form. The John Bircher dupes who have been underground for all these years are taking over the state.

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Art
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Since our education system has created consumers-not citizens for the past 30 years, yes I do think so little of our fellow citizens. I want an opinon on sports or reality shows-I'll ask a fellow citizen. Want a halfway informed opinion about anything economic or political-good luck. Anybody else ready to join my opinion that the system is irreparably corrupt and cannot be fixed now that money is permanently entrenched and controls the political system(heck, most of our systems). Already here in SoCal, SuperPAcs are flooding some local elections for repubs with money.

http://www.whittierdailynews.com/news/ci_20703186/pro-development-candidate-rep-gary-miller-gets-big

lovecraft
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May. 8, 2012 11:06 am

Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina spent tons of money in California with nothing to show for it. And I'd always thought people in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, etc. were just generally better informed than people out here.

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

CA is too heavily demo plus they had baggage. Pre Citizens United too.

lovecraft
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May. 8, 2012 11:06 am

Thom , Don't forget the person that had the support of the big unions and their money was kathleen falk, and she got out polled by tom barrett 2 to 1 in her home county. You make a big deal out of walkers money. What did you expect, the unions forced a recall and he rasied money to finance his campaign. And that money came from all sorts of people, in his finacial disclosure it showed 75% of his donors gave $50 or less. So you can blame it on the money but deep down you know it will be because wisconsin approves of what walker has done and will do for our state. And as I always say walker will get my vote.

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whiskeyman
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Mar. 7, 2012 5:57 pm

If he has 75 donors giving 50 dollars, and 20 giving 100,000 dollars and five giving millions, he still only has a 100 supporters, most of whom are out of state.

pierpont try [ quote then ] post, then [/quote and closing bracket ]

[quote=Calperson]Sure, you may think so little of your fellow citizen that political opinions can be just "poured" into a voters empty head by watching a TV ad, however look closer and you will see that Gov Walker is leading a nation wide movement to reign in the vast runaway government/union complex.[quote]
Btw Maddow covers the importance of WI, if walker wins, no democrat will have any funding support, so it will be republican forever, and 34 governors are watching with baited breath. The future will be WA, OR, CA, and NY, and DC, and Vermont and Mass as the only civilized places left to live and work. The rest will be fiefdoms. Forever is a very long time.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

At least the out of state donors are willing to spend money in wisconsin unlike the DNC, Wisconsin will not be as easy for the Obama man to win this time, conservativism is alive and flourishing in wisconsin.

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whiskeyman
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Mar. 7, 2012 5:57 pm

Is this just a matter of this Barrett fellow being a bad candidate? When Darrell Issa bankrolled the recall of Gray Davis in California, the best the Democrats had to offer was Cruz Bustamante. He was pretty much the turd that floated to the top. But the Democrats had the excuse that they were on the defensive, perhaps the Democrats in Wisconsin just didn't plan ahead. Plus they way it worked here was there were two votes: number one, yes or no on the recall; number two, pick who you want if number one passes.

California is not that far left. We have right wing state propositions that pass all the time. Proposition 8 banning gay marriage passed here in 2008 even as everyone voted for Obama. Republicans could probably win statewide races here if the national party didn't base itself out of Mississippi.

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

If money trumps everything ,and the Republican party has all the money, how did the Democrat party ever get anyone elected?

Hartmann wake up and smell the coffee. Unions from all over the country with the help of a few useful idiots, spent millions and millions getting Walker recalled. What they didn't count on is the work ethic of the average Wisconsin voter. Even the teachers found out that their own healthcare programs could be bought on the open market for far less than the union owned and mandated programs that were jammed down their throat.

If Walker wins it will not be money that did it, it will be a lot of votes from ordinary hard working people that see government bloat and are going to put their trust in Walker to fix as much as he can. You call it austerity and I call it necessary common sense. If Walker does win, the good people of Wisconsin have spoken, and remember, you said it before, "elections have consequences". So let the people speak and stop blaiming money. It is their state not yours. Good on them either way this goes.

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THISAA
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Dec. 16, 2011 5:49 am

Many people do not have the time and/or interest to carry out in-depth research on politicians and political candidates. They get the bulk of their information from campaign ads. Whoever pays the piper carries the tune. If people could be better informed, they might think differently.

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Robindell
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

It's hard to imagine an election that's had more attention paid to it than this one. There's something else going on. Maybe Russ Feingold knew the inside scoop when he declined to run.

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Quote Calperson:Sure, you may think so little of your fellow citizen that political opinions can be just "poured" into a voters empty head by watching a TV ad, however look closer and you will see that Gov Walker is leading a nation wide movement to reign in the vast runaway government/union complex.
And public opinion can't be manipulated? ROTF If not then corporations and special interests are pissing away BILLIONS on an ineffective advertising, PR, phony think tanks, and faux news like Fox. What do THEY know that you refuse to acknowledge? It's they're NOT pissing away their money. Nazi Germany proves that public opinion can be swayed with a well-crafted and coordinated effort. You don't think the science of manipulation hasn't progressed the last 70 years? Just look at how it's encouraged you to sabotage your own intellect!

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Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 1:19 pm

In wisconsin we know how walker handled the budget problem,and a majority on wisconsin voters support him. And with just a few more days until the election, Barrett refuses to tell how he will pay for bringing back collective bargaining to the public service unions. The reason why is because the only way he knows is by raising taxes on everyone, to give the chosen few their primo benefits. On election day wisconsin voters will speak out again and walker will still be in charge, and wisconsin will be moving forward.

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whiskeyman
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Mar. 7, 2012 5:57 pm

I am a teacher at a high school in Madison, WI. Many young people who are 18 have registered to vote and the first election that they will vote in will be the recall election (including my 18 year old daughter)! Some students formed a PAC to recall Walker and made a video which is on Youtube. We are so proud of them because they are invloved and they are the future.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/on-the-capitol-...

There is hope:)

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Aisha
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May. 15, 2012 6:25 pm

Hey Whiskey, I'm curious as to what you think about replacing elected officials with appointed ones. Do you think that's what America should be about? When you are appointed you can only be fired by who hires you and the "freedom" of Americans to remove a bad official from office is lost.

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Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 6:53 am

And the rest of wisconsin knows that Madison is a hot bed of public service unions lunacy. Thats why madison is known to be 10 square miles surrounded by reality. My step daughter is also voting in her first election and I am proud of her. An informed voter is a good voter, lets hope our children are getting both sides of the issue and not a slanted view of the issue. I would also like to thank all veterans for their sacrifice, because of them we can have elections.

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whiskeyman
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what elected offical was replaced by an appointed official?

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whiskeyman
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Quote whiskeyman:

what elected offical was replaced by an appointed official?

None yet that I know of. I have some good friends who live in Wisconsin and they believe that may be on Walker's agenda for the future. I personally don't believe that anyone would make that big of changes to the state's political process, but who knows. I was just curious as to what you would think of it if he had done it sometime in the future. He's already appointing many people to public office jobs that were in the past hired through an interview process. That in itself is a little bit shady don't you think? I mean, what's to stop him from paying back "favors" by giving away public office positions.

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Bush_Wacker
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who has he appointed? And where are they appointed to? Beliefs are not very accurate. I can easily say that I believe that your freinds are invisible but that doesn't make it true.

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whiskeyman
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Quote Bush_Wacker:
Quote whiskeyman:

what elected offical was replaced by an appointed official?

None yet that I know of. I have some good friends who live in Wisconsin and they believe that may be on Walker's agenda for the future. I personally don't believe that anyone would make that big of changes to the state's political process, but who knows. I was just curious as to what you would think of it if he had done it sometime in the future. He's already appointing many people to public office jobs that were in the past hired through an interview process. That in itself is a little bit shady don't you think? I mean, what's to stop him from paying back "favors" by giving away public office positions.

When Walker's czars get to be a fraction of what obama has appointed without public consent or approval, let us know. Also try to find the salaries of these cronies.

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THISAA
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Dec. 16, 2011 5:49 am

As a Wisconsinite, I have a slightly different take on this. The union issue was big enough to get us a recall but it is not big enough to win an election. The primary issues on election day are JOBS and STATE DEBT not union bargaining rights. There is an issue with money because, outside of Milwaukee, Barrett has low name recognition in the state. He is basically a non-personality for a lot of people and he hasn't really had enough money to build that up. What's more is that Walker is ad spamming the entire state with trumped up job numbers and Barrett and the Dems can't keep up with the BS shoveling to try to set people straight. Every time I click on a youtube video I get a damn Walker ad. He is targeting specifically younger voters that are ill informed to sway the election and it is working.

In order to win this election, Dems needed to do only a few things and they haven't really gotten it right:

1. Reveal Walker's true record and do so enough that it counterbalances his lying ads. This, again, has been an uphill battle.

2. Give Barrett name recognition outside of Milwaukee. He should've been doing talking tours and stuff all month. As far as I know, he hasn't even spoken in Madison - the hotbed of Wisconsin liberalism and the Capitol of the state (and largest city outside of Milwaukee). Kind of makes me wonder what the hell he is doing.

3. Have a concrete plan to present to the independents to the state for how they will a) create jobs and b) lower the debt/deficit WHILE c) retaining union worker rights. The bet that Walker played from the beginning was saying to the public, "We have to take unions' rights because they are breaking the back of the tax payer". I have heard no rebuttal to this on a grand scale beyond "workers' rights!!!" Well, guess what... Independents vote largely on economic pragmatism not social egalitarianism. Independents are not going to vote for a Dem unless we can show them in a concrete way how we would have done it better and done it without violating workers rights to bargain for their wages.

4. When the recall was granted, Dems needed to shift to a predominantly "pro-Barrett" campaign rather than an "anti-Walker" campaign and it just never happened. People don't want to hear why they should vote against Walker. They want to know why they should vote FOR Barrett. Negative ad campaigns have been shown to reduce voter turn out and lower voter turn out always results in Republican wins. Dems need to take the high road and start focusing on their positive contribution rather than everything they hate about their opponent.

I may just email this to his campaign staff...

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm
Quote whiskeyman:

who has he appointed? And where are they appointed to? Beliefs are not very accurate. I can easily say that I believe that your freinds are invisible but that doesn't make it true.

MADISON: Gov. Scott Walker’s divisive biennial budget contains a provision that would to make the top lawyer at the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission into a political appointee. Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca noted that WERC is an independent agency and must remain so – especially in the face of the labor upheaval that Republicans have caused with their elimination of workers’ rights. “In the budget adjustment bill, Gov. Walker gave himself an additional 37 political appointees, one more indication that defied his message that this bill was about fiscal responsibility,” Rep. Barca said. “And now his budget gives him yet another political crony – one that would place an entire nonpartisan agency in a compromised ethical position and erode public confidence in the agency’s work.” The Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission website explains its function in these words: ‘Our agency serves the citizens of Wisconsin by promoting peaceful and effective employment relations in the municipal, state and private sectors. WERC is a small, independent agency…’ This proposal indicates how disingenuous the governor was when he assured workers that despite his taking away their basic right to collectively bargain, that they would still have civil service protection. He proposes that for their last right of appeal employees will be subjected to the advice of a Walker-appointed attorney. It is inappropriate for an employee to know that their chance at fairness lies with a Walker crony who is subject to dismissal if he takes a side in opposition of the Governor. “This, coupled with the dramatic increase in the number of political appointees, is simply another way for self-declared CEO Walker to exert control over the workers whose rights he is trampling,” Barca said. “The level of unchecked control Gov. Walker seeks using political cronies to carry out his mission is not in keeping with Wisconsin’s tradition of fairness.”

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Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 6:53 am

The other issue to consider for the pro Walker anti worker crowd should have been if taking off the gloves and playing a "I win - you lose" type negotiation to the state of Wisconsin is that now that is the expected rules. So when the pendulum swings back the other direction, be prepared for an increase of wages for public union workers, and tax rates on businesses and high wage earners to pay for it.

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Phaedrus76
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Sep. 14, 2010 7:21 pm

How many times this past winter and spring did Gov. Scott Walker tell us that Wisconsin is broke?

We have no money, he insisted, and that’s why teachers, snowplow drivers, health department workers, park caretakers, nursing home employees and thousands of other public workers needed to give up their unions and fork over more money for their pensions and health insurance.

We all have to “sacrifice,” he insisted, even though the people being asked to sacrifice had nothing to do with causing the country’s and the state’s economic woes. They’re just the victims being made the victims once again.

It’s funny, though. If Wisconsin is as broke as our governor says it is, then how comes he’s got taxpayer money to lavish on his pals and cronies, who he appoints to state government?

If you remember, Walker succeeded in the so-called budget repair bill this spring in removing 39 top-rank state government jobs from civil service, where applicants have to take tests and compete for the jobs, and making them gubernatorial appointees so politicians like Walker can hand out the jobs to their toadies.

But the governor’s cronies don’t just get these nice jobs, they get paid significantly more than the civil service workers who were in the jobs before.

The most egregious example is that of Cindy Archer, the longtime Walker aide who is apparently under investigation for campaign violations and whose home was raided by the FBI recently.

First, Walker made her second in command at the Department of Administration, a job she suddenly gave up when a John Doe investigation started poking around her conduct while she was working for Walker when he was Milwaukee County executive.

She didn’t lose out too badly, though, because Walker then turned around and appointed her legislative liaison in the Department of Children and Families, which up until that budget repair bill was a civil service job. The “we’re broke” governor gave her a $99,449 salary. The civil servant who had the job before, Kimberly Collins, was paid $60,320. That extra $40,000 might have helped some school pay a bill or two.

Unfortunately, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, that’s not at all unusual for this governor.

The Walker-appointed Mark Rinehart is getting $70,992 in his job as legislative liaison for the Department of Justice, a cool $10,700 more than he got as a civil servant. Dana Brueck gets $78,000 as communications director in Justice, nearly $8,000 more than Bill Cosh got as a civil servant in the same job.

Over in Health Services, Walker appointee Stephanie Smiley is being paid $91,099 as its communications director, compared to the $84,564 that Seth Boffeli, a civil service jobholder, was being paid.

And so it goes with this new “reform” administration we have in Madison. It doesn’t even try to hide its incredible hypocrisy.

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times.dzweifel@madison.com

Read more: http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/article_a697adb5-c413-5e8f-90a4-5fced8ac1411.html#ixzz1w7ypPDgb

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Bush_Wacker
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http://thepoliticalenvironment.blogspot.com/2012/05/blockbuster-disclosure-walker-dnr.html

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Bush_Wacker
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And why are they not talking about the union issue? Because the dems know it is a non-winner with the voters. And the reason you didn't see a pro-barrett campaign is because he was not the chosen candidate for the unions, who were pushing their own hand picked candidate, kathleen falk, and she got her hat handed to her in the primary. Barrett says walker was wrong in the way he handled the budget deficit, but when he is asked how he would have taken care of the budget differently he dodges the question , because he only has one way to do things, and that is raising taxes. Which will be a loser when it comes to the elections. Barrett has no plans to move this state forward he only wants to go back to the way it was, which is why we had a mess in the first place. Even the left leaning miwaukee journal sentinal has come out and endorsed Walker. It will be a close election But I feel that walker will be the winner yet again. And if past practice is any indication the unions will try to recall walker again in a year and we will be in a state of non-stop campaigning which does this state more harm than good. Recalls only hurt the state when it comes to an improving jobs picture. Nobody wants to move a business to wisconsin or even start a new business in wisconsin if they are unsure of how the business climate will be here. So if you want to improve the state of wisconsin, vote walker in the general election and we can keep the taxpayers in charge and not the special interests groups that want to move wisconsin backwards.

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whiskeyman
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If Walker wins again, there will be no additional recall. What that will indicate is that the Dems need to find a more suitable candidate for the next election and start grooming them now. What may happen, however, is that they will continue to recall Assembly members.

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm

@ wacker, if what you says is actually true than why isn't walker's opponent bringing this up in speeches and how about the debate the other nite. He spent the debate not answering questions put to him and talking about a on going john doe probe that has yet to be closed which shows alot of desperation on his part. Barrett knows that walker cannot legally comment on details about this probe until it is closed. It always amazes me how candidates on both sides, spend time telling you what the other is going to do and not enough time telling you what they will do. I would also question any news reports coming out of madison, Madison is known as 10 square miles, surrounded by reality.

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whiskeyman
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Walker's philosophy on governing is his perogative. You, the voters of Wisconsin must decide if it's the best choice for the state. I am only bringing up the idea of appointing public service positions that can and probably are based on a personal agenda versus hiring the best person for the job. Isn't that one of the things you hate about unions? The power to manipulate and further an agenda? Should a Governor have that much power? If a Governor can appoint someone of his choice into a position that represents ALL of the citizens of a state, isn't that a wide open door to corruption?

If I were a citizen of Wisconsin then this would be of a major concern to me. Whether my Governor was a Democrat or a Republican. Choosing the best person for Governor is one thing but allowing him too much power is another. You seem like the kind of guy (Whiskey) that would not like your Governor having that much power. That is why I asked what you thought about the situation. I just wanted your take on that particular part of the process.

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Bush_Wacker
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Hiring and keeping the best teachers has been a big part of the act 10. Giving the school districts the abilty to keep the best and brightest teachers and other public service workers. Instead of firing and laying off based on senority. He has had wisconsins best interests in mind so far, So i really don't think he would change know. But when it comes to hiring I am sure others think that they are more qualified and better suited for jobs that went to others. But that happens all the time in the public and private sector. Every position always comes down to someone making a choice, so why not walker? Instead of some faceless bureaucrat . And if walker appoints someone who is unqualified, it will show up rather quickly and walker will have to answer for that.

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whiskeyman
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Mar. 7, 2012 5:57 pm

Fair enough. I disagree but that's just me. To me that would be the equivalent of President Obama appointing whatever officials he needed to in order to not have any roadblocks for the agenda that he was elected to do. The President was elected based on what he campaigned on. The Governor was elected based on what he campaigned on. The Governor can hire and fire people to help achieve his agenda. The President cannot. The Federal level has many built in checks and balances and the State level does not. I just think the possible outcomes could be disasterous before anyone had a chance to make changes.

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Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 6:53 am

Then how do you explain all the czars he has appointed? Do you think they were put there because they disagree with him? Or how about the bundlers that have Obama's ear and have benefitted from that access?

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whiskeyman
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Mar. 7, 2012 5:57 pm

Sorry I have no read this entire thread, so this post may be a little off the track, but all Scott Walker has to do is look south at what can happen if the liberal democrats and progressives get their way. Read the attached article to see what he is trying to avoid.

Illinois is in such bad shape even the Democrats are preaching austerity!

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-illinois-budget-20120528,0,4531294.story

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mauiman58
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Jan. 6, 2012 5:45 pm
Quote Art:
So Walker might escape next month, but this battle for the rights of working people in bigger than Wisconsin.
I think that's probably right. It would account for why the DNC has decided not to pony up to try to even up the 20:1 money gap that is already driving this election. The State that gave us Joe McCarthy is reverting to form. The John Bircher dupes who have been underground for all these years are taking over the state.

Escape from what? Walker ran on a specific platform. He did no lie or mislead anyone. He told the voters what he would do if elected. Then he did it. Rather than respect the demcratic process the unions had a temper tantrum and forced a recall. Unless a politician, lies cheats steals or has commited a crime, let them serve their term. Elections have consequences. Deal with it.

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rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 6:49 am
Quote rigel1:
Quote Art:
So Walker might escape next month, but this battle for the rights of working people in bigger than Wisconsin.
I think that's probably right. It would account for why the DNC has decided not to pony up to try to even up the 20:1 money gap that is already driving this election. The State that gave us Joe McCarthy is reverting to form. The John Bircher dupes who have been underground for all these years are taking over the state.

Escape from what? Walker ran on a specific platform. He did no lie or mislead anyone. He told the voters what he would do if elected. Then he did it. Rather than respect the demcratic process the unions had a temper tantrum and forced a recall. Unless a politician, lies cheats steals or has commited a crime, let them serve their term. Elections have consequences. Deal with it.

Unless a politician lies, cheats, steals or has commited a crime. That's an oxymoron if I've ever heard one.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 6:53 am
Quote Bush_Wacker:
Quote rigel1:
Quote Art:
So Walker might escape next month, but this battle for the rights of working people in bigger than Wisconsin.
I think that's probably right. It would account for why the DNC has decided not to pony up to try to even up the 20:1 money gap that is already driving this election. The State that gave us Joe McCarthy is reverting to form. The John Bircher dupes who have been underground for all these years are taking over the state.

Escape from what? Walker ran on a specific platform. He did no lie or mislead anyone. He told the voters what he would do if elected. Then he did it. Rather than respect the demcratic process the unions had a temper tantrum and forced a recall. Unless a politician, lies cheats steals or has commited a crime, let them serve their term. Elections have consequences. Deal with it.

Unless a politician lies, cheats, steals or has commited a crime. That's an oxymoron if I've ever heard one.

Yeah. I actually can't believe I said that.

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rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 6:49 am
Escape from what?
Why are you asking me? It's not my quote.
Walker ran on a specific platform. He did no lie or mislead anyone. He told the voters what he would do if elected. Then he did it.
Why is this interesting to you? I don't live in Wisconsin. I have no idea what platform he ran on.
Rather than respect the demcratic process the unions had a temper tantrum and forced a recall.
Unless I'm mistaken recalls are a perfectly legal and legitimate part of the democratic process. Anything you don't like can be characterized as a "tantrum". What kind of an argument are you trying to make here? Can't you just put it in simple declarative words?

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Art
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Currently Chatting

Can Democrats Set Out a New Path?

Democrats must embrace a pro-government platform, not run away from it.

Those were the sentiments of Senator Chuck Schumer today, in a speech given at the National Press Club. Talking about the reasons for Democrats’ losses on Election Day, Schumer said that those losses were proof that the American people and middle-class want a government that will work more effectively for them.

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