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The Process Is Political: Targeting Gov. Walker in Wisconsin

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin (Eric Thayer/Getty)

A week after the repeal win for collective bargaining in Ohio, Democrats and unions start collecting signatures in a recall effort against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. In California, Republican opponents turn in signatures to challenge new redistricted state Senate maps. And Republicans and county governments are in court in South Carolina over who's responsible for covering the costs of the presidential primary in January.  

Dems and Unions Launch Recall Effort in Wisconsin: Police in New York weren't the only ones launching an advance shortly after midnight last night. Opponents of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker kicked off their recall petition campaign with pajama parties and a countdown event at a Madison bar. They were organized by the state Democratic Party and United Wisconsin PAC, a nonpartisan labor-supported effort, which are running separate but concurrent efforts to oust the governor.

The campaign's been in the works for months, but the effort certainly got a morale boost after Ohio voters repealed a law last week that limited collective bargaining for public works. There's a kickoff rally on Saturday, all aimed to build momentum to collect the more than half million signatures needed by the January 17 deadline.

Gov. Walker has already launched his counterattack, running a 30-second ad during Monday's Packers game defending his record. (That ad was paid for by the Friends of Scott Walker, the governor's campaign committee.) After the legislative standoff over the law limited collective bargaining rights for public employees, both Democratic and Republican senators were the targets of recall efforts last summer. Democrats picked up two seats, but Republicans held on to control of the Senate. This latest recall campaign will re-up that effort, targeting at least three Republican senators. (Wisconsin State Journal)

Meanwhile, Signature Collecting is Done in California...: Republican activists in California have turned in more than 700,000 signatures in their effort to get a challenge to the new state senate districts. A group called Fairness and Accountability in Redistricting (FAIR) led the effort, because they argue that the new district boundaries bias results toward Democrats. A citizens commission handled redistricting for the first time in California, taking over a function previously managed by the Legislature. If at least 504,000 signatures are found to be valid, the district maps would be up for voter rejection in November 2012. (Ballot Access News)

Who Should Pay for the First-in-the-South Primary? That's the question argued before the South Carolina Supreme Court this week. Four county governments are arguing that the GOP primary vote is akin to a vote by a private club, and that the part has not budgeted enough money to cover all the costs of an election. What's in dispute is whether a 2007 law that said the State Election Commission would run the 2008 presidential primary primary continues to apply. If the state Republican party loses the case and has to cover all the costs of the presidential primary, the state chairman says the scheduled election on January 21 could be in doubt. (The State)

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Comments [1]

Re: recall.

The process may be political, but the underpinnings are philosophical. They go directly to the distinction between an elective [representative] and a direct, or 'Town Hall' democracy. There is much to be said on each side. The learned literature is measured in breadth, in depth and in centuries.

A problem common to either is bifurcate: the protection of the minority from the majority and the protection of the majority from a powerful minority. To have both might well require accepting a metastable State*.

The process of recall serves as example. If too easy to set in motion, the 'recallee' is subject to mirroring each popular cause du jour of the majority with the minority be damned. If non-existent, most especially for a last term incumbent in a term-limited situation, there's little if any reason to consider the majority at all. And yes, there are all manner of nuances between these two extremes.

Thus far, the Wisconsin situation has been presented as a conflict between conservative/liberal or between union/employer. There are deeper considerations which are worthy of consideration.

* I love word play. Don't you?

Nov. 17 2011 08:25 AM

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