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.