Walker Recall Talking Points Contradicted: He Supported 1997 Effort to Recall Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold | WisCommunity

Walker Recall Talking Points Contradicted: He Supported 1997 Effort to Recall Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold

Scott Walker has been running around the state, lecturing everyone that will listen that the very notion of a recall election is preposterous.  Walker either A) attempts to confuse people by conflating the recall and impeachment or B) claims another election is unnecessary because the voters just weighed in last year.

Of course Walker is wrong on both counts:  An impeachment is a statehouse action intended as a checks-and-balance to kick-out someone for "crimes and misdemeanors" and a recall was put in place as a voters checks-and-balance to kick-out politicians that do something to rum-up enough outrage to motivate 25% of the electorate to sign a recall petition.  And, as others have pointed out, the origin of  the recall provision came in response to politicians pulling a bait-and-switch where they take extreme actions in office that they never bothered to mention during the campaign...  such as ending collective bargaining for teachers and other public workers and making the biggest cut to public education in Wisconsin history.  

However, not only is Walker wrong, but his argument is directly contradicted by Walker himself:  In 1997, he supported the "First Breath Alliance," which was a group that tried to recall Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold.  Why?  According to their website at the time:

We are First Breath Alliance, a Wisconsin state-wide, non-profit alliance of independent citizens dedicated to recalling our two pro-abortion U.S. senators, Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl. Feingold and Kohl have consistently voted against the right to life of the unborn. A recall would force a special election which could unseat one or both senators.

The effort fell short by approximately 30,000 signatures, but Walker was rewarded for his help to the organization by being one of only three statehouse campaigns to receive a share-- $697.42-- of the group's remaining funds.

This 1997 recall contradicts both of Walker's points:  A) Voting a particular way on an issue dealing with abortion is not a crime or misdemeanor and B) The voters had recently weighed in on the popular Herb Kohl and the voters were preparing to weigh-in on Russ Feingold in 1998-- plus both politicians were very popular in Wisconsin public opinion polls at the time, indicating that had changed their mind about their earlier decision to elect the two.

In addition, the Walker administration has been complaining about the cost of running a statewide recall election, even though they had no problem with such an expense back in 1997... or in 2002, during the Milwaukee County executive recall, which he benefitted... or this past year, when nine Democratic Senators were recalled.    


November 18, 2011 - 10:03am