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I don’t like recall elections, but I would vote against Scott Walker if I had the chance

On several occasions over the past 15 months or so, I’ve argued here that recall elections are an unworthy feature of the political process in the states where laws allow for them.

Granted, the liberal in me can’t help but be gratified by the prospect that Scott Walker, the union-busting governor of Wisconsin, might be recalled from office. And if I lived on the other side of the Cheddar Curtain, I would vote next Tuesday for Walker’s ouster.

That’s not hypocrisy. That’s just playing the hand that’s been dealt. If my choice at the ballot box is between a right-wing Republican and a liberal Democrat, I’ll take the latter every time.

But I still don’t like statutes that allow for recall elections. On that score, I’m pretty much in agreement with THIS ARGUMENT from Andrew Rotherham:

Elected officials who violate the law or otherwise abuse their office should obviously be removed by recall or impeachment. But that’s not the issue in Wisconsin. The argument there is about policy issues — public sector collective bargaining and benefits — about which reasonable people can disagree. But as is clear from our increasingly broken politics, we’ve lost the ability to work with those with whom we disagree, or to respect elections and the process of governance enough to let it run its course.

Besides, we have regularly scheduled recalls: They’re called elections. And for our democracy to work, they have to mean something. So after the recall vote next week, the citizens of Wisconsin may find themselves with a better governor. But they shouldn’t confuse that with having struck a blow for better governance.

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11 Comments

  1. Neftali

    I agree. This whole recall process has been nothing but a huge waste of tax payer money. It was completely unnecessary. Walker broke no laws (I’ll ignore the various on-going investigations for certain ex-Walker staff members).

    Heck, I think its not unreasonable to think that Walker will win this recall election, but end up being voted out anyway during the next election cycle.

  2. That’s the face of a moron who let the regional rail system slip through the hands of Wisconsin costing them jobs and prosperity.

  3. Truth About Energy

    If Obama is reelected, Walker will probably be reelected. If Romney is elected, it will become difficult but not impossible. Either way, public employees will not be allowed to collectively bargain again. The savings realized cannot be offset by annual tax increases. Even Democrats realize this, but opposed Walker because he is a Republican and because they accept contributions from public employee unions.

  4. Expdoc

    Stevo, are you talking about the not so high speed train that didn’t run where people wanted to go and that no one would ride?

  5. When your state is last in job growth you shouldn’t sneeze at a $820 million rail stimulus. Oh I forgot Governor Asshat didn’t finish college.

  6. Expdoc

    Hey stevo, what is the unemployment rate in Wisconsin exactly? How about Illinois?

    Where do you think the stimulus money comes from? The magic money tree? China? Try our pockets and our children’s pockets.

    I don’t care how much stimulus money was involved, it was a stupid project that would serve very few people and would cost tens of millions of dollars a year to run. Liberals are so infatuated with choo-choo trains that it gets in the way of simple logic and math.

  7. You need to come out of your teabaggery bubble Doc. Who’s going to maintain all those highways and bridges? Where does that money come from? Plus money spent on vehicles and gas. It’s only going to get worse as the population increases (children’s pockets ???) in the Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago corridor. Walkistan has missed another great opportunity or as Thomas would say to be a very useful engine.

  8. expdoc

    So you think the highways and bridges are going to go away because several hundred (at best) people ride a train between Milwaukee and Madison every day? You should pop the lefty bubble you’ve been inhaling from Stevo.

    Rail solutions make sense where there is real population density or when you have 100′s of millions of dollars to flush down the toilet. We have neither in the Midwest for the project Walker refused. The people of Wisconsin know it too. I think the not so high speed choo choo was one of the main reasons that Walker and the Republicans were brought to power in the last real election.

    If the feds want to spend the money, they should spend it on the roads and bridges that we do use and will continue to use for the next century or do as Walker suggested and spend it on the line between Milwaukee and Chicago.

    Of course the Obama administration would have none of that. They want to punish the state for having the temerity to elect a politician who would actually balance the budget and be responsible with federal dollars.

  9. wilson

    Steverino
    Who is the “moron” who holds up the pipe line and other energy projects?
    Who is the “moron” who gives bundlers taxpayer money for green energy projects and then companies go bankrupt and the exec’s get golden parachutes?

    Expdoc
    Here is an example of a successful rail project
    “NJT has projected the initial ridership of the River LINE to be about 5900 trips per day, a very low number for the $1.1 billion construction cost and $18 million annual operating subsidy. The River LINE is being justified as a spur to economic development of the riverfront towns between Camden and Trenton, which have lost much of their traditional manufacturing industry.”
    5900 was an optimistic number as I never saw more than a couple people on it.
    http://web.presby.edu/~jtbell/transit/Camden-Trenton/

  10. Wilson – I assume you are talking about the moron former Governor and business man of Massachusetts who subsidized Konarka and Evergreen Solar before they went belly up. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

  11. wilson

    This Evergreen energy? I think you showed us who else is a moron.
    “Evergreen Solar Inc., the Massachusetts clean-energy company that received millions in state subsidies from the Patrick administration for an ill-fated Bay State factory, has filed for bankruptcy, listing $485.6 million in debt.”
    “The Massachusetts Republican Party called the Patrick administration’s $58 million financial aid package, which supported Evergreen’s $450 million factory, a “waste” of money.”

    So what does Governer Patrick have to do with this?

    http://bostonherald.com/business/technology/general/view/2011_0815evergreen_solar_files_for_bankruptcy_plans_asset_sale

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