Breaking: Wisconsin Dems throw their weight behind drive to recall GOP Senators
Washington Post- The Plum Line- Greg Sargent
Posted at 2:34 PM ET, 03/ 2/2011
The Wisconsin Democratic Party has decided to throw its weight behind a nascent grassroots drive to recall a number of GOP state senators, a move that will considerably increase the pressure on them to break with Governor Scott Walker, the Dem party chair confirms to me.
“The proposals and the policies that Republicans are pushing right now are not what they campaigned on, and they’re extreme,” the party chair, Mike Tate, said in an interview. “Something needs to be done about it now. We’re happy to stand with citizens who are filling papers to recall these senators.”
Previously, Wisconsin Dems had not publicly supported talk about recalling GOP Senators, in hopes of privately reaching a negotiated solution to the crisis. The Wisconsin Democratic Party’s decision to support the recall drives represents a significant ratcheting up of hostilities and in essence signals that all bets are off.
Eight Republican Senators are eligible to be recalled right now, and various groups around Wisconsin are beginning to file papers to make it happen. Tate told me that the party would throw its organization behind such efforts
“We’re an aggressive, on-the-ground group and we’re going to be looking to aid these citizens in any way we can,” he said.
Tate said he couldn’t say whether such a recall drive would result in GOP Senators breaking with Walker, given their solidarity so far, but he vowed that a number of them would pay the price by losing their own jobs.
“There are Republican senators today that will lose their seats in a recall election in the next few months,” he said “We’re happy to assist.”
Asked if Wisconsin Dems would drop their push to recall senators if they abandoned the drive to roll back public employee bargaining rights. Tate said he couldn’t guarantee that, arguing that Walker’s proposed budget cuts yesterday took this fight to a whole new level.
“In the past 24 hours, this has gotten so much larger than the rights of our public employees,” he said. “This is much larger now than it was a week ago.”
UPDATE, 3:08 p.m.: Ian Millhiser has some detail on the slim vote margin some of these Republicans won office with, and on how a recall would work.
And Sam Stein notes that Wisconsin Dems are already raising money to support the recall effort.
UPDATE, 3:43 p.m.: The SEIU is now soliciting support for the recall drives, suggesting labor may join the push to collect the required signatures necessary to make them happen.
UPDATE, 4:19 p.m.: We now have a total of four national polls all showing solid support for public employees.
By Greg Sargent | March 2, 2011; 2:34 PM ET
HuffPost- Sam Stein
First Posted: 03/ 2/11 02:39 PM Updated: 03/ 2/11 02:50 PM
WASHINGTON — The Wisconsin Democratic Party has launched a fundraising campaign to recall state Senate Republicans who have supported the budget bill by Gov. Scott Walker (R) that would strip collective bargaining rights from the state’s public employee unions.
The email the party sent out on Wednesday afternoon is excerpted below:
In 60 days you can take Wisconsin back. It’s that simple.This morning citizens from around the state took the first steps by filing recall papers against key Republican Senators who have stood with Scott Walker and pushed his partisan power grab that will strip thousands of middle class teachers, nurses, librarians and other workers of their right to collective bargaining. And we learned just last night that their disastrous budget that will cut millions from our schools and universities.
In 60 days you can take Wisconsin back by recalling the Republican Senators who have decided to push Scott Walker’s divisive attack on the rights of workers and his assault on schools, universities and local communities. Can you contribute $60 today to support the Democratic Party’s recall efforts?
Make no mistake, these Republican Senators are vulnerable to recall for their radical partisan overreach. Senator Randy Hopper won his last election by just 184 votes. And Alberta Darling won her last race by only 1,007. By recalling just three of the eight Senators we are targeting, we can regain control of the Senate.
But we need your help today. The clock is ticking and we have just 60 days to collect the signatures we need to force a recall. Every day and every dollar counts.
If we can recall at least three Senators and regain control of the Senate, we can end the ugly games Republicans in the legislature have played in the last few days — unplugging phone lines, bolting windows inside the Capitol shut, and withholding the paychecks of Democratic legislators.