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Forum Post: The POWER we have - are we going to use it? or lose it?

Posted 6 years ago on March 17, 2012, 5:50 p.m. EST by bensdad (8977)
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From John Nichols - The Nation - The Power of Recalls in Wisconsin

With Wis­con­sin re­call elec­tions loom­ing against four Re­pub­li­can state Sen­a­tors -- as well as Gov­er­nor Scott Walker and Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor Re­becca Kleefisch -- the state's pol­i­tics was thrown for an­other loop Fri­day when a tar­geted sen­a­tor up and quit.

State Sen­a­tor Pam Gal­loway, a Tea Party fa­vorite and one of Walker's stead­i­est back­ers in the leg­is­la­ture, an­nounced her im­me­di­ate res­ig­na­tion from the leg­is­la­ture and her de­ci­sion not to con­test the re­call elec­tion.
The move had dra­matic reper­cus­sions:
Re­pub­li­cans have lost the com­plete con­trol of state gov­ern­ment that al­lowed the gov­er­nor to ad­vance an aus­ter­ity agenda that was de­fined by at­tacks on unions and deep cuts in pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion and pub­lic ser­vices fund­ing -- along with the harsh­est Voter ID law in the na­tion, a rigidly par­ti­san re­dis­trict­ing of leg­isla­tive dis­tricts and what crit­ics com­plain has been a bat­ter­ing of the state's open-gov­ern­ment tra­di­tion.
State Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Leader Jeff Fitzger­ald, a Walker ally who is tar­geted for re­call, has lost his po­si­tion as the dom­i­nant player in the leg­is­la­ture. He now must enter into a power-shar­ing agree­ment with Mi­nor­ity Leader Mark Miller, a pro­gres­sive De­moc­rats who led a his­toric walk­out by his cau­cus dur­ing last year's strug­gle over Walker's labor law changes. Com­mit­tee as­sign­ments will be re­done to re­flect what is now a 16-16 split in the Sen­ate.
Gov­er­nor Walker, who has threat­ened to call spe­cial ses­sions of the leg­is­la­ture to deal with pet pro­jects, will now only be able to do so if he can work with the De­moc­rats -- some­thing he has not done up to this point.
If, as ex­pected, the fed­eral courts re­ject the state's re­dis­trict­ing plan, it could be sent back to a leg­is­la­ture where De­moc­rats can now play a crit­i­cal role in draw­ing the maps. That could re­sult in a sig­nif­i­cant up­turn in their for­tunes going into this fall's elec­tions.
Re­pub­li­cans have lost their pre­mier can­di­date in one of four state Sen­ate re­call elec­tions that are now sched­uled for May 8 pri­maries and a June 5 elec­tion. Gal­loway had raised major money and or­ga­nized a cam­paign of con­se­quence be­fore an­nounc­ing that fam­ily health con­cerns had led her to exit the leg­is­la­ture. Now, De­mo­c­rat Donna Sei­del, a pop­u­lar for­mer county of­fi­cial in the Wausau-area dis­trict and the as­sis­tant mi­nor­ity leader in the state As­sem­bly, emerges as a clear fron­trun­ner for a seat that -- if she wins -- would tip the Sen­ate to full De­mo­c­ra­tic con­trol.
All of these changes were made pos­si­ble by the re­call power, which al­lows cit­i­zens to pe­ti­tion for new elec­tions. This old pro­gres­sive tool of ac­count­abil­ity was used last sum­mer to force a num­ber of Re­pub­li­can sen­a­tors who sup­ported the Walker agenda to de­fend their seats.
Going into last sum­mer's re­call votes, Re­pub­li­cans held a 19-14 ad­van­tage in the Sen­ate. Two Re­pub­li­cans were de­feated, leav­ing the GOP with a nar­row 17-16 ad­van­tage -- and giv­ing mod­er­ate Re­pub­li­can Sen­a­tor Dale Schultz the power to tem­per his party's ex­cesses. Now, with Gal­loway's exit, the cham­ber goes to the 16-16 split.
After the next round of re­calls, it is pos­si­ble that De­moc­rats could end up with full con­trol of the Sen­ate, po­ten­tially by a mar­gin of up to 19-14 -- or, if Fitzger­ald is de­feated by up­start chal­lenger Lori Com­pas, 20-13
Ad­di­tion­ally, a new De­mo­c­ra­tic Sen­ate could sit with a new De­mo­c­ra­tic gov­er­nor, as Walker's re­call is now all but cer­tain to take place on the same day as the sen­a­tors.
What has hap­pened is re­mark­able. What could hap­pen is his­toric. And the peo­ple, using the re­call power af­forded them by pro­gres­sive re­form­ers of a cen­tury ago, are mak­ing it hap­pen.

How can OWS use its power and its people to take America back?



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[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Great Post B's, D! I'm gonna keep kicking ths back up until it gets the attention it deserves. But I'm on my fifth Guinness today, so it might have to wait till tomorrow:)

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 6 years ago

I'm a Sam Adams man - I'd switch to Ben Franklin - if I could find one!

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

I am a Thomas Jefferson Man - all the way!

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 6 years ago

despite their vicious interpersonal battles - they died friends.
exactly 50 years after the declaration was signed July 4, 1826
Adam's last words were "Thomas Jefferson survives"
He was wrong - Jefferson died a few hours earlier.

but - my best production is Ben

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

I we could only return to that age of gentlemen and women, who could disagree vehemently, but at the end of the day still respect one another, and even remain friends. That is so hard to do now, with all the viscious and inarticulate obscenities thrown wreaklessly at one another. It disregards human dignity. I even get caught up in it myself, out of the frustration that the phenomenon itself induces.

I think it would help us all greatly if swear words (which you don't resort to as far as I've seen) were limited to the expression of the emotion for which they are the only recourse.

In any case, it's been a pleasure debating with you - we don't always agree, but you debate like a gentleman!