Is A Scott Walker Recall Next for Wisconsin?
Bloggers, news outlets weigh in on the chances, timing and possible success of an attempt to recall the governor.
Democrats are reportedly trying to decide exactly how to go after Gov. Scott Walker, according to a blog post on Forbes.com.
Rick Ungar, who writes the Forbes blog The Policy Page, wrote that with the legislative recalls underway, people are starting to think about Walker.
"Certainly, should the senate recall efforts turn out well for the Democrats, the excitement will be there to continue the process and take a shot at sending Scott Walker back home to Milwaukee.
The question is when to begin that effort."
Wisconsin law gives the people trying to recall a politician 60 days to collect enough signatures to equal 25 percent of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election. A recall of Gov. Walker would require about 540,000 signatures, using the post-recount numbers available on the Governmental Accountability Board's website.
With the time limit, Ungar reports Wisconsin Democrats are trying to figure out when to start that effort. He says many want to get the campaign started as soon as the current spate of recalls is over, and while everyone is still focused on the issues.
Ungar said he would normally agree, but that the situation in Wisconsin right now isn't normal.
He brought the State Supreme Court into the mix — calling it "one of the most bizarre State Supreme Courts one can imagine" — and said because of the state's legal situation, a recall effort too soon could favor Republicans.
Ungar points out that, depending on the timing of things like certificates of sufficiency and efforts to delay the election, could put a potential gubernatorial recall election on the same ballot as the Republican presidential primary in April 2012.
He cautions that if Democrats proceed with the recall too soon, "they may well be placing the future of Scott Walker in the hands of the Wisconsin Supreme Court—the last place they would like the matter to be decided."
Read more of Ungar's take on the situation at his blog.
Statewide efforts unusual
Earlier this month, WUWM's Ann-Elise Henzl reported on the upcoming recall elections against six Republican and three Democratic state senators.
Usually, political science professor Gary Moncrief told Henzl, recalls are individual efforts "rather than a group sport."
The Daily Caller reports Walker appears to be bracing for a recall, raising "an impressive amount of money this year."
Walker has raised $2.5 million, The Daily Caller reports, in the past seven months. This is reportedly four times what former Gov. Jim Doyle had raised at the same point in his time in office.
According to the executive director of the Repubilcan Party of Wisconsin, that fundraising is "the direct result of the governor following through on his promises of reforming Wisconsin."
But a Democratic Party spokesman had a different take, telling The Daily Caller that Walker's fundraising is prep for a recall.
“The good news is it’s a sign that even he knows he will face recall and possible replacement next year as a result of his divisive agenda,” spokesman Graeme Zielinski wrote The Daily Caller in an email.
He also said the Democratic Party has raised more money than Walker and that they are "confident" they will have the resources to stop Walker's agenda and Walker.
Who would run against Walker?
But if Walker is recalled, who would the Democrats put up against him? Watchdog.org says it will probably be one of several "old warhorses with long political histories."
Watchdog.org said some of the most-talked-about candidates are former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (who lost to Ron Johnson last year), Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (who lost the governor's race to Walker), former United States Rep. David Obey and La Crosse-area Rep. Ron Kind.
In its story, Watchdog outlines pros and cons to each of these candidates.
Likely to succeed?
Back in March, National Public Radio's Liz Halloran wrote about the tough odds for recall elections in the state.
Colorado College political science professor Thomas Cronin told Halloran that historically, state-level recall efforts fizzle out. In California, NPR reported, voters tried to unseat 32 governors before succeeding with Gov. Gray Davis in 2003. California also tried 107 times to recall state legislators between 1911 and 1994—only two were successfully ousted from office.