Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Recall Paranoia

So, it’s OK if someone who claims their name is Mickey Mouse signs a recall petition, as long as they have a valid Wisconsin address.  Or so we’re hearing on the news.  Along with the tidbit that some person claiming to be Adolph Hitler signed one of the senatorial recall petitions this summer, but it was tossed out because Adolph listed an address in Germany, not Wisconsin.

Mix that news in with the recent report on Faux News (from Reince Priebus) that election fraud is “rampant and widespread” in Wisconsin, and it’s enough to push the paranoids off the edge of the cliff.

There have been reports on the local media about people grabbing recall petitions from the hands of the volunteer signature-getters and destroying the petitions; widespread reports of threats to people volunteering to gather signatures; even one local report that some loser doofus freeze-framed a local TV news report, got the name and phone number of one of the signers from the TV image of the petition, and made a harassing phone call to that person.

When I signed the petition, I voluntarily put one of my (valid) e-mail addresses on the petition (in case there’s some question about the validity, is the reason the volunteer told me) instead of my phone number, because I just don’t trust that my phone number wouldn’t somehow end up on a political telemarketer’s call-sheet.  Because no, I don’t want to contribute to Joe (or Jane) Blow’s campaign fund to make sure that (peace/justice/the American way/inflation/election fraud/abortion/radical socialism/left-handedness/whatever, name your issue) doesn’t take root right here in (name of community).

Here’s the thing.

The recall petitions, assuming those who want Walker ousted gather the 540,208 signatures necessary, simply trigger another (expensive) election.  I think a lot of folks don’t understand that.  They apparently think if enough signatures are gathered and verified, Walker is outski-putski.  They apparently don’t understand that if enough valid signatures are gathered, it doesn’t mean Walker is out; it means there’s going to be another election.  I think those pro-Walker/anti-recall ads that run every 10 minutes on TV may be confusing some of the lesser intellectually-endowed among us.

I hope Walker is cast out into the exterior darkness, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth, and I hope that Clay Fish person who consorts with him is shown the door, as well.  She’s REALLY looney.  I’ll go out on a limb here on the 14th day of December and say I think the signature-gatherers will garner far more than the 540-thousand plus they need; but when the election is held – well, that’s another kettle of (clay) fish.

But, as Rick Perry said to Mitt Romney the other night, I’m not in the betting business.   And I really can’t afford to gamble ten thousand dollars.  So we’ll just have to trust that all those new safeguards the Republicans put into place in the past few months to try and end the “rampant and widespread” election fraud in the Badger State will do the trick, so we can be confident in the result, no matter what it is.  (By the way, that last sentence was intended as sarcasm.  I'm told sarcasm doesn't come across well in print.)
The photo at the top of this post is copyright The Christian Science Monitor.


  1. FYI - I don't think anybody is saying that fake signatures are "ok", rather that it isn't the role of the GAB to determine if each&every signature is an actual person. The procedure being used for this election isn't any different that any that were held previously: Anyone with an interest can challenge what they beleive to be an invalid signature. If the GAB had to actually verify each&every signature, then the cost you are complaining about for this upcoming election would be far-FAR greater.

    On a side note: Who do ya think is more likely to write an obviously fake name on a petition...someone who supports the cause or someone who wants to sabotage it?

  2. It's pretty well conceded by serious players that the opposition will collect 540K+ signatures.

    It's also pretty well conceded that Walker will win the recall election.

    FYI, if he doesn't, you can expect ANOTHER recall. Two can play the chaos game, you know.

  3. It used to be that Republicans were principled people. I know; I used to be one. When Tommy was in office, you got the feeling that he actually believed what he was doing was good for the State. You could disagree with him about whether the policy was a good idea, but at least I felt that his heart was in the right place.

    Now, Republicans have abandoned "limited government" and "conservatism" as principles, and instead appear to be hellbent on maintaining the supremacy of the Republican Party, which increasingly appears to be a political arm of the 1%. Wanting to maintain the supremacy of the party because you think you know best how to rule is one thing; wanting to maintain supremacy to benefit a limited few is another. Tricks like "poison pill" unemployment benefits are simply reverse logrolling -- and playing games with the electorate is not a "principle."

    I back the recall, even if it doesn't work, because forcing people to pay attention and forcing Republicans (or any party) to defend their policies NOW as opposed to LATER is a good idea. Politicians should not be led by the nose by public opinion; it's a republic, after all, not a direct democracy. But they should be willing to explain to the public why they did something. Gov. Patsy isn't even willing to do that; his continued insistence that Act 10, for example, was to balance the budget, is misleading at best.

  4. This whole thing bothers me and doesn't...let me explain..there are 4.37 million eligible voters for the recall election if it happens...of those, assuming they sign the petition, 540,208 will vote against the current Governor based on their signing of the petition...the last election brought out 50% of the eligible voters (record turnout) and Governor Walker received 52% of the vote or 1.2 million votes...the numbers lead me to believe that we are going to spend an awful lot of money needlessly to stroke the ego of 540,208 petition signers and the additional cost of a follow-up recall if by chance Walker is not re-elected...

    Sadly, the opposition to Governor Walker has not proposed a candidate..maybe this is strategy to avoid people not signing the petition because they do not like the proposed candidate, or there is no one having enough state wide appeal or exposure to garner the needed votes...any way I look at this, the whole activity seems senseless, unless of course I was an avid supporter of the recall it is it shall be done!

  5. Not only no candidate; there is no platform to go with.

  6. And on top of that, what's the point? A Democrat in the Governor's office isn't going to be able to do anything about the collective bargaining reforms as long as Republicans hold at least one house of the legislature.

    They would have been much better off putting all this effort into winning a veto-proof majority in the Assembly and a couple of Senate seats next fall. This whole thing has just been a dumb, desperate waste of time and money.

  7. The point?

    One wonders if WEAC and AFSCME leaders aren't really running a self-affirmation poll.