[Guest post by Simon van Zuylen-Wood]
Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic lauds the
Yesterday’s recalls were supposed to serve as referenda on Scott Walker’s controversial union busting law. Already this year mass protests in
More importantly, the elections themselves have not been entirely focused on the collective bargaining law, but largely with local squabbles and moral failings. Randy Hopper, one of the two Republicans who lost yesterday, was plagued with questions about an extra-marital affair with a younger woman and just how she got her government job. Conservative religious group Wisconsin Family Action ran an ad attacking Democrat Fred Clark—who lost narrowly—for running a red light and hitting a biker. Another ad played a recording of Clark saying he wanted to ‘smack around’ a woman who wouldn’t vote for him.
Barry Burden, professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told me “the recalls in the end were not so much about Scott Walker…but more about character issues, whether the candidates were good people.” In the biker-ad election, Burden says the attack ads “made the difference” in a 52%-48% victory.
The other big problem with the
There’s no problem with recalling an elected official who’s not doing his job—that was a key charge against the three Wisconsin Democrats up for recall who bolted