Wisconsin State Senate Recalls

I didn't hear about Andrew Wisniewski entering the race back during the 2010 election cycle. He had help from Jason Sidener, who worked for AFSCME. It's not clear to me (though I'm open to contrary evidence) that there was any formal support from AFSCME, either in the signature gathering or in the actual campaign. The actual Democrat in that race, Kerry Trask, is who got the endorsement from AFSCME.

It's also worth noting that AFSCME is not the Democratic party.

That whole race was kind of topsy-turvy, though. Bob Ziegelbauer had been elected to the State Assembly as a Democrat since 1992, and dropped his affiliation in June of last year to run as an independent, though with the endorsement of the Manitowoc County Republican Party[color=red]*[/color].

[color=red]*[/color] My google-fu may be weak, as the only story I'm finding so far confirming that endorsement (http://www.htrnews.com/article/20101... ) has been moved to their paid archives.


Edit to add: I should probably be explicit. I think that running fake candidates is a deplorable tactic. Regardless of whether Jason Sidener was acting entirely on his own or with the blessing of AFSCME, the Democratic party should have disavowed Wisniewski's candidacy.

Well, Wisniewski was sponsored by AFSCME, while the current crop of fakers are GOP sponsored, with local and state GOP groups paying for various of their activities, and the purpose of delaying the Republican recall elections for the Party. Still, same tactic has been used elsewhere. It does not endear either side to me.

MattDaddy wrote:
Malor wrote:

Maybe the Democrats should start playing those games too.

They already did back in 2010.

http://biggovernment.com/mtrackers/2011/06/07/the-lefts-hypocrisy-on-fake-candidates-in-wisconsin/

Yeah, because a candidate put up by a public service union as a protest candidate is exactly the same as a half dozen fake democrats being sponsored by the Republican party at taxpayer expense.

You're not trying hard enough.

BadKen wrote:
MattDaddy wrote:
Malor wrote:

Maybe the Democrats should start playing those games too.

They already did back in 2010.

http://biggovernment.com/mtrackers/2011/06/07/the-lefts-hypocrisy-on-fake-candidates-in-wisconsin/

Yeah, because a candidate put up by a public service union as a protest candidate is exactly the same as a half dozen fake democrats being sponsored by the Republican party at taxpayer expense.

You're not trying hard enough.

Probably a topic for another thread, but this ties into the point that Jay Rosen and a lot of critical journalists are making about he said/she said style journalism. If one side does something heinous, and the other side does something abhorrent, the journalistic community that exists today will present them as equivalencies, regardless of scope, scale or intent. This absolves the journalists from having to express an opinion, or stick their neck out, and actually report on what's happening, instead placing all events at a playground fight level.

An attack add for one of the recall races ran twice here during Jeopardy. It guess you could say it was effective because I'm totally not going to vote for whoever that person is.

Your link doesn't support the claim. Consider:

Last summer, a candidate named Andrew Wisniewski ran as a Republican in Assembly District 25 against conservative Independent Bob Ziegelbaur. Ziegelbaur, a Democrat assemblyman since 1992, defected from the party in the summer of 2010 because he felt “they became more enthusiastic about big government and big tax increases and farther away from pro-life issues.”

So he left the Democratic party, and ran as a Republican, because he doesn't agree with the position of the Democratic party. And from all appearances, it was a single guy with no backing from his party whatsoever.

It's that old thing I keep seeing -- Republicans constantly use a Democratic toe in the water as a justification for a full body cannonball. One guy, one time, with no real evidence of malfeasance, does not correlate even vaguely with a deliberate and concerted attempt to hijack multiple elections simultaneously.

Malor wrote:

Your link doesn't support the claim. Consider:

Last summer, a candidate named Andrew Wisniewski ran as a Republican in Assembly District 25 against conservative Independent Bob Ziegelbaur. Ziegelbaur, a Democrat assemblyman since 1992, defected from the party in the summer of 2010 because he felt “they became more enthusiastic about big government and big tax increases and farther away from pro-life issues.”

So he left the Democratic party, and ran as a Republican, because he doesn't agree with the position of the Democratic party. And from all appearances, it was a single guy with no backing from his party whatsoever.

It's that old thing I keep seeing -- Republicans constantly use a Democratic toe in the water as a justification for a full body cannonball. One guy, one time, with no real evidence of malfeasance, does not correlate even vaguely with a deliberate and concerted attempt to hijack multiple elections simultaneously.

I think you may be misreading that. Bob Ziegelbauer left the Democratic party and ran in that election as an independent, though with the backing of the local Republican party. Andrew Wisniewski ran as a Republican (with the help of at least one AFSCME employee, who may or may not have been working in an official capacity) - since no other candidates filed, he won the primary, and appeared on the ballot with an (R) next to his name.

If I understood his post correctly, MattDaddy is upset at Wisniewski's candidacy, which was most-likely not a legitimate effort to further a Republican agenda. I think he has a point there - a candidate running under false pretenses is poor form regardless of who his or her backers are.

I do agree with the false-equivalency argument that has been sketched out above, though.

Um... WOW!

The first head-to-head match on the recalls and... WOW!

With 65% of all precincts reporting:

State Senate District 30
Dave Hansen (D) (incumbent)
69% - 13,675

David VanderLeest (R)
31% - 6,191

This isn't a win. This is an evisceration.

Live results of tonight's elections here.

It's important to remember that Van Der Leest wasn't the GOP's first choice for this election. The intended candidate, John Nygren, failed to gather enough signatures to appear on the ballot (he submitted just over the 400-signature threshold, but there were issues with several, bringing him to 398).

Still, it's roughly in-line with the results of the fake-democrat primaries.

Plenty of work still to be done, but I'm cautiously optimistic that this bodes well.

Geeze, 400 signatures is a pretty damn low hurdle to clear.

I mean, yeah, it's a small district, but that's something a single person could probably manage with some dedication.

Final election-night results are in - 71 out of 72 precincts reporting:

Dave Hansen (D) (incumbent)
66% - 20,653

David VanderLeest (R)
33% - 10,604

Dimmerswitch wrote:

Final election-night results are in - 71 out of 72 precincts reporting:

Dave Hansen (D) (incumbent)
66% - 20,653

David VanderLeest (R)
33% - 10,604

So, to recap (please correct any part of this post that's wrong):

Dave Hansen was one of those people who, at the outrage of his GOP constituents, fled the state in order to block -- or, more accurately, delay -- the passing of a bill that removed the teeth from Wisconsin Unions. The outraged GOP constituents mounted a recall because of this.

Failure abounded.

While that serves as justification for Hansen's action, I think I'll be much more interested in seeing how the incumbent GOP recall elections go.

edit: btw when are Wisconsinites gonna go back to being the decent midwestern people we all miss? That This American Life piece made me very sad.

The GOP didn't even support this guy, so it comes as no surprise. Just as the "fake" democrats were never expected to win, just act as placeholders to force a primary and give the GOP time to campaign.

They screwed up big time with their actual candidate, Nygren. All indications were that he had a real chance of winning, while this guy was never a serious threat to anyone.

I think it's more telling that "fake" candidates (who did 0 campaigning) managed to get 30% or more of the vote, and even gave a pretty good scare to one of the real democrats in the primaries.

Yeah, we definitely should be doing more of that fake candidate stuff. That's obviously a great strategy for a democracy.

Just let it go already Malor. I never said it was a good thing. In fact, I disliked it from the beginning. That does not change reality, which is the strategy did what they intended it to do. it also doesn't disqualify me from making an observation based on the events. Stop taking everything I say as some form of ringing endorsement of their actions.

But hey, at least this time you managed to stay away from stating I'd be happy with them burning babies on live TV, so I guess you're making progress.

Don't worry Matt, I still think you burn babies.

And to the point, Mattdaddy already said he was against fake candidates on the last page.

MattDaddy wrote:

Just let it go already Malor. I never said it was a good thing. In fact, I disliked it from the beginning. That does not change reality, which is the strategy did what they intended it to do. it also doesn't disqualify me from making an observation based on the events. Stop taking everything I say as some form of ringing endorsement of their actions.

But, you do endorse the strategy?

Edit: If you can't see the difference I can't help you. Either that or you're just messing with me. I give up.

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:
MattDaddy wrote:

Just let it go already Malor. I never said it was a good thing. In fact, I disliked it from the beginning. That does not change reality, which is the strategy did what they intended it to do. it also doesn't disqualify me from making an observation based on the events. Stop taking everything I say as some form of ringing endorsement of their actions.

But, you do endorse the strategy? :D

In MattDaddy's defense, he explicitly disavows the strategy on the previous page. Relevant quote is

MattDaddy[/url]]I am not a supporter of fielding fake/protest/placeholder candidates in any race. I do not want to be wasting money on an extra round of elections. I would not have come up with this as a solution to the problem. The problem being that the GOP incumbents were put at a disadvantage by the timing of the elections.

I disagree with MattDaddy that the GOP incumbents were put at a disadvantage by the timing of the elections, but I do share his wish that they'd all happened on the same day, and that the recall elections had been held as soon as possible.

Step 1: Institute one of the most restrictive Voter ID laws in existence
Step 2: Close 12% of the state's DMV offices (NB: there are also allegations that the closings predominantly target Democratic districts)
Step 3: ...?

I'm not sure whether the gerrymandering / Voter ID / DMV shenanigans should get its own thread - I'm wary about turning P&C into "Wisconsin political events", but can create one if there's consensus for it.

The offices of We Are Wisconsin, a union and labor PAC that has spent several million dollars to back Democratic candidates for the upcoming recall elections, caught fire and burned to the ground over the weekend.

I'm shocked, shocked to find that there's arson in this establishment.

I really hope this turns out to have been an accidental fire.

This t'ain't the right thread.

Politico is reporting that Americans for Prosperity is sending fliers to Democratic households, directing voters to return ballots after the election is complete.

Politico[/url]]Americans for Prosperity is sending absentee ballots to Democrats in at least two Wisconsin state Senate recall districts with instructions to return the paperwork after the election date.

The fliers, obtained by POLITICO, ask solidly Democratic voters to return ballots for the Aug. 9 election to the city clerk "before Aug. 11."

A Democrat on the ground in Wisconsin said the fliers were discovered to be hitting doors in District 2 and District 10 over the weekend.

"These are people who are our 1's in the voterfile who we already knew. They ain't AFP members, that's for damn sure," the source said.

Republicans LOVE voter suppression. Just loooove it.

I really don't understand how anyone can support a party that knowingly, and frequently, engages in these kinds of tactics.

Sort of goes back to what I was saying regarding my theory that democracy is an obsolete vestige on the evolutionary development of capitalism. It seems no longer necessary or useful to the growth of the economy or the expansion of investor and consumer power. In the end, the concept of representative governance will be as quaint as the horse and buggy or workers' rights.

IMAGE(http://www.pubtheo.com/images/chinese-workers.jpg)

Certainly possible. And we've enthusiastically embraced ideas that lead inevitably in that direction. (extraordinary police powers and indiscriminate debt accumulation being the two major examples I can think of offhand.)

Malor wrote:

Certainly possible. And we've enthusiastically embraced ideas that lead inevitably in that direction. (extraordinary police powers and indiscriminate debt accumulation being the two major examples I can think of offhand.)

I think the biggest step was empowering corporations with the rights of supercitizens.

Also true. And yes, probably bigger than those other two items; those are sticks that the supercitizens can use to beat ordinary humans.