Monday, June 13, 2011

Dems expected to succeed in placing "insurance" candidate on ballots

Democrats expect to be successful in their effort to recruit an additional Democratic candidate on many Senate recall races statewide.

The weekend has been bizarre - across the state, activists are scrambling to collect signatures for this effort, all the while having to explain to a confused electorate exactly what is going on here.

The best I can make of it: Democrats are explaining to their confused signatories that they are responding to a GOP effort to place "fake" Democrats on the ballot so the "real" Democrat candidates will have to face a primary. These GOP efforts have two implications: one, the GOP can pull their candidates and put the date of the election in flux, exercising control over election day will occur statewide; and two, GOP voters could vote in a Democratic primary against the establishment Dem candidate.

Rather than recruit "fake" GOP candidates and respond in kind, Democrats are instead recruiting what in some elections is a third candidate for a primary election. The strategy seems to be that they hope for some kind of detente with GOP, or at the least, to force all the elections to occur on the same day regardless of what the GOP does. It's a valiant decision from Mike Tate and the Dems - if you have a full understanding of the decision made here, they really are responding to an aggressive, and really abusive, tactic from the GOP.

Here's to hoping everyone can just calm down and let this thing play out the way it's supposed to.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Recall efforts turn ugly - 9 races at once

It appears that Dems and Republicans will all try to field false candidates to run against one another in primaries before recall general elections are allowed to happen.

Republicans announced their plan first, and after a few days of discombobulation and shock, Dems and their allies are now scrambling to gather enough signatures to put primary opponents up against Republicans to even the score. One caveat: the same circulators can't gather signatures for two people. There's a mad scramble to get people signed up to circulate within each camp. 

The GOP has forced the Dems into this action - if the Dems don't field candidates in response to the initial GOP move, GOP voters would be able to vote en masse in the primary against the real Dem candidate. We Are Wisconsin has a good outline of what this all means on their website.

My opinion: this is the next level. Just when you think things won't get crazier and more intense in this fight, something like this happens - and the repercussions will be significant. I'll be out in the field watching the events unfold this weekend and will update more afterwards.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dave Obey's role in the Harsdorf/Moore recall race

This video posted at Uppity Wisconsin got me thinking. How involved is Dave Obey in supporting educator and education activist Shelly Moore in her bid to replace Sen. Sheila Harsdorf?

Think about it. He's newly retired and has visited Madison quite a few times since January. He's a politician by nature, and surely in this climate he wants to be involved somehow. I doubt anyone knows northern Wisconsin's politics better than him. If anyone can bring Moore's candidacy to within striking distance of Harsdorf, who hasn't been considered vulnerable, it's Obey. It will be interesting to see how much more comes of his surrogacy for the Moore campaign.

It's factors like these I see coming together to mean good things for the Dems.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kapanke call confirms Republicans agree with Dems

...on which races are the most competitive in the upcoming July 12th recall elections.

The Journal Sentinel has the scoop on a "secretly recorded" talk at an in-district meeting among GOP activists and the Senator.

He said that along with his race, the Hopper and Darling recalls are the most likely to be successful. He goes on to talk about the possibility of defending every Republican seat, and taking down a Democrat or two, with the possibility of the Senate GOP caucus growing to 21 members.

I don't see that as even a remote possibility.

What seems more likely to me is that Darling will succeed in defending her seat, but Hopper and Kapanke will lose, especially after comments like these becoming public and provoking the public employees Kapanke denigrated in his talk. I think Luther Olsen could go down, though, and if not him, Sheila Harsdorf. The quality of the candidates Dems have come up with in these two races can't be overstated.

I seriously doubt Kapanke believes that the Senate GOP could come out of this with 21 seats.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Let them eat brats

It's Memorial Day weekend, when people across the state celebrate the arrival of warm weather by spending the weekend grilling food and enjoying the outdoors. What is the activist community generated by Governor Walker's actions on collective bargaining up to? It's busy organizing not one, not two, but four alternatives to Bratfest, the annual celebration put on by Johnsonville Brats (whose executives have provided backing to recalled Senators) that raises millions of dollars for charity.

You can bet that the GOP doesn't mind this one bit. Rather than having activists in their districts this weekend, speaking with people who could potentially vote against them come July 12th, they'll be left alone to enjoy the weather with their families and constituents.

I recall hearing about alternatives to Bratfest as recently as the first week of the protests back in February. While it's important that activists set up something to get their message out on this, the focus by the Wisconsin State Journal and others makes the activist community look ridiculous. They are working to oppose not only Johnsonville but Metcalfe's, a union employer and heavy backer of Democratic candidates including Senator Jon Erpenbach. Frankly, activists need to get a clue and go knock on some damn doors if they want to stand any chance of winning a majority in the State Senate this July.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Date Set

As you've probably heard by now, July 12th will be the big day, officially. I had doubted it earlier, but the GAB has done a great job of addressing complaints and issues raised by all parties concerned and it appears everything will go as planned.

What are your thoughts? Predictions? Hopes and dreams?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Democrats sure in the 18th

I'm told that internal polling conducted on behalf of DPW in the 18th Senate district shows that Randy Hopper is a lock to lose his recall election.

The state's largest newspaper is covering his opponents criticisms. His opponent is also also raising a pretty large amount for an Act Blue fundraising campaign, and it should be only a substantial amount of what she's raising on her own. The next deadline comes in June.

The SSDC is so sure about this that they've not yet committed full resources to this race. Originally, the plan was to have a full staff of 8 set up in Fond du Lac and Oshkosh, but so far only 3 have been committed.

More gossip after the jump.