The Wisconsin Gubernatorial Recall

In case you missed it, the election was certified last Friday by Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board. They called it at 900,939 signatures.

Not long after, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced his intentions to campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Now, I’ll admit at first my reaction was a little nonplussed. If Barrett’s intention was to create a buzz around his announcement, then late Friday afternoon is not the first time on a calendar I would have picked. Friday the weekend before a big Republican presidential primary is really not when I would have picked. But the spouse reminded me (he is occasionally swept into my world of politics) that Barrett is a classy guy and likely wouldn’t allow the announcement prior to an actual recall certification.

Oh, that.

You all know I think Tom Barrett is a nice guy. I’ve defended some of the attacks the right make on him by managing facts. He doesn’t really deserve anyone’s disdain. He will, however, have a hard time talking himself around the fact that he’ll be forced to campaign against Act 10, but Act 10 saved Milwaukee lots of money.

If you look you will see Barrett’s already been raising funds. A recently paid grip and grin included President Obama’s friend and now Chicago’s mayor Rahm Emanuel. It’s easy to draw a piece of yarn around those pins on the photo wall: Barrett, Emanuel, President Obama, but no Kathleen Falk. An exclusion like that doesn’t happen in politics at this level unless it was meant to happen.

Falk is without a doubt the union favorite. She is not, however, the mainstream Democrat’s favorite. I’ve seen several posts where that statement remains absolute. I’ve also seen a couple of errant emails proclaiming the same.

So when I see that Barrett is out beginning his campaign with my kind of statements about making improvements without creating a “civil war” within our state, well, I have to wonder if maybe that is exactly the tone necessary to win this time. Yes, even though Barrett’s never won before. The Playground Supervisor the other day called it setting up for a “buyer’s remorse” re-vote. It might just work.

There’s one other thing to consider before we get much further down the calendar. Dems have a primary, and it will be a divided electorate. Under this scenario the often-cited and slightly amusing plan to write in Scott Walker for the Dem choice could give interesting results. I spent a few minutes puttering through the law the other day and I’m not absolutely sure it would be a legitimate outcome, but I will say the action, should it manage the greater number of votes, would cause a heck of a stink for at least a few days.

Which brings me to my final question: Will Wisconsin Democrats run a fake Republican against Walker in the primary? The action would force all primary voters to stake their claim with a more clear understanding of the risk of ballot malarkey.

Stay tuned.


  1. I’ve seen at least one quasi-serious attempt to give Walker a primary opponent. He won’t have backing along the lines of the bought and paid for faux Democrats the GOP is flogging, though.

  2. Randy in Richmond says:

    Can anyone vote in the Wisconsin primaries? And are write-in’s allowed? I’m not clear on this…

  3. Wisconsin does not require declaration of party affiliation. Anyone can vote in the primary, but only for one party. If no one opposes Walker in the GOP primary, then people who support Walker might be motivated to vote in the Democratic primary.

  4. Randy in Richmond says:

    Thanks 🙂

  5. Tada!

  6. What, no Cindy Kilkenny? 🙂