Scott Walker: Reasons to recall Wisconsin's governor [Most Commented]
Wisconsin should drop the bid to recall Gov. Scott Walker, writes the editorial board in Wednesday’s Opinion pages. What gives the board authority to weigh in on another state? Experience. They write:
[C]oming from a place that has undergone its own share of political troubles as a result of recall elections, we humbly submit this counsel to Badger State Democrats who are launching a recall drive against Gov. Scott Walker: Don't do it.
Among the board's reasons:
Recall drives like California's, and the one Wisconsin Democrats plan to start circulating petitions for on Nov. 15, render meaningless the notion that voters elect governors to serve a set term. Recalls make it nearly impossible for state leaders to get anything done because they go into campaign mode rather than legislating mode. They worsen partisanship and, Davis' recall notwithstanding, they are usually a waste of time and money (an effort by Wisconsin Democrats to end the Republican majority in the state Senate via recall has already failed, with four of six GOP incumbents keeping their seats). And populist outrage doesn't necessarily lead to positive reform.
With that, the board offers this advice:
Elections have consequences, and sometimes your side loses. Recalls are a useful tool when a politician commits misconduct, but that's not the case in Wisconsin. Democrats should accept that and move on.
A few readers on our discussion board have praised the editorial, flattering us with comments like "LA Times, you are dead right on this one," and some have used the space to take Wisconsin unionists to task for what they perceive as unabashed greed. "[They posses] a greed that makes Wall Street look like social workers," writes KurtEckhardt. "The problem with civil servants is that they approach their jobs with an aristocratic air of entitlement: Me first, the rest of you later," says GregMaragos.
Other readers, as you may have guessed, are less enthused. Here's a sampling of their comments.
Walker willfully lied to the voters
"Recalls are a useful tool when a politician commits misconduct."
You mean kind of like when a politician engages in a sleazy bait-and-switch and attempts to end collective bargaining for public employees despite the fact that he never mentioned such a policy during the 18 months he ran for governor?
This is more than a disagreement over policies. Gov. Walker willfully lied to the voters of Wisconsin and intentionally hid his true intentions during the gubernatorial campaign.
So, L.A. Times Editorial Board, are you actually endorsing the idea that politicians should be able to lie to their constituencies and mislead the voters with impunity? I find that a breathtaking position to hold.
He's taken advantage of the middle class
As a fourth-generation Wisconsinite, I have to agree with the statement that, "Wisconsinites may not have much use for advice from an out-of-state news organization." Of course, there are valuable lessons we can learn from California's gubernatorial recall. And yes, recalling our governor will, without a doubt, be a costly headache. But the assumption that our recall is essentially a Democrat versus Republican grudge match, instigated by Democratic Party leadership, is mistaken. What the author misses, and what we Wisconsinites know all too well, is the extent to which we were intentionally duped in the last election.
Scott Walker campaigned on fiscal conservatism and job creation. When he took office, however, he immediately began enacting his real agenda, an extremist agenda that benefits his out-of-state corporate backers at the expense of our middle class.
The reason there are not 100,000 of us in the streets outside of our state capitol today is because, being the reasonable and polite folks that we are, we decided we could fight back through an electoral strategy.
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is simply following the lead of an unstoppable grass roots movement of everyday Wisconsinites who are committed to preserving our traditions of workers’ rights, quality public education, and good, clean government. And we WILL recall Walker.
Go, Wisconsin! (Before it's too late.)
Comparing a car tax to what the government of Wisconsin plans for public workers is absurd. Go, Wisconsin, because if you don't, things will get even far worse in your state. The GOP plan nationwide is to end all unions, get rid of minimum wage, and turn this country into even more of an oligarchy. Better start recalls now while you can. And don't listen to anyone who says you won't succeed in this recall. You will.
Wisconsin shouldn't be stuck with a pig in a poke
It's fair to say that elections have consequences. It's also fair to say that the actions of politicians do as well. Just because Wisconsin voters bought a pig in a poke doesn't mean they should be stuck with him for a full term.
The point of the recall
Has the LA Times gone INSANE? No misconduct??????? Saying there should be no recall of Walker because he hasn't broken any laws or committed "misconduct" is LUNACY. The POINT Of recall is to get rid of bad apples, and Walker is as bad as they come!
*Spelling errors in the above comments have been corrected.
Photo: A woman who declined to give her name protests on the sidewalk near the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Assn. office in Eau Claire, Wisc., on Oct. 4. Credit: Steve Kinderman / Eau Claire Leader-Telegram