On, Wisconsin: Scott Walker Will Face Recall

Quick hit, pending updates from Kay or other posters more knowledgeable about the primary situation, but looks like we’ll be highlighting another GOTV / ActBlue drive:

Scott Walker, the embattled first-term Republican governor of Wisconsin, will face a recall election on June 5, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) ruled Friday. Walker’s Lieutenant Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, will also face a recall.
The board voted 5-0 in favor of a holding a recall election after finding that the recall ballots for both candidates garnered a sufficient number of valid signatures to proceed.
More than 900,900 valid signatures were collected in a petition to recall Walker, and more than 800,000 valid signatures were collected in a petition to recall Kleefisch. Only 540,208 signatures were required…
Democratic primaries will take place on May 8.
So far, there are four Democrats in the running: Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, who has already secured the endorsements of a number of labor groups, elected officials, and liberal organizations, as well as Secretary of State Doug La Follette, state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who ran an unsuccessful bid against Walker in 2010.

Any Wisconsinites (Badgers?) want to tell us who we should be supporting?

22 replies
  1. 1
    Steve says:

    Barrett and Falk are the only real candidates. Personally, it seems counterproductive to me to take sides in the primary. Fight the real enemy.

  2. 2
    gbear says:

    As a western neighbor, I like the idea of running Barrett again and making it a clean repeat of the original election.

    I am so excited for you guys. On Wisconsin!

  3. 3
    BGinCHI says:

    Anyone with a D after their name, for chrissakes.

    I hope there’s some giant fucking karma headed Walker’s way, and it’s got “Koch Bros” tattooed on the side.

    Early prediction: Kochs will get caught trying to fix/raise gas prices and the Dems will win in a landslide in Nov.

  4. 4
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    For the love of god, Wisconsin Democrats, do NOT blow this by purity trolling the shit out of each other.

  5. 5
    Ben Cisco says:



    We don’t need no…oh wait, yes we do need badgers. LOTS and LOTS of them.

  6. 6
    dmsilev says:

    And of course R-Money is hugging Walker tightly, for fear of pissing off The Base. Or at least he is until Tuesday anyway.

    Should make for some useful footage come October.

  7. 7
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    This also happened.

  8. 8
    Greg says:

    Vinehout is anti-choice and La Follette is a ridiculous buffoon. Neither of them can beat Walker.

    Both Falk and Barrett would be good governors and run competitive with Walker. If you want to make an anti Walker donation, I’d recommend donating to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Or you could donate to one of the Senate candidates: John Lehman, Donna Seidel, Kristen Dexter, or Lori Compas.

  9. 9
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Yay for Wisconsin!

    I cringe to think of the firehose of bullshit that’s going to be sprayed on the state in the next couple months, though, from Walker and his infinitely-deep-pocketed owners. I hope it will backfire hugely on him.

  10. 10
    kideni says:

    Other big news in Badger land: a federal judge struck down elements of Act 10 (the bill that stripped union rights from most public employees). There’s a good, brief analysis here. It’s not a lot — it strikes the restriction on deducting union dues from paychecks and the requirement that unions recertify annually and by an absurd margin (51% of all members, not just members voting) — and it will be appealed, but it’s good news nonetheless. There are a couple other federal cases out there, so we’ll see how that goes.

    As for handicapping the candidates, there was an article in the Capitol Times the other day that I’ve been meaning to read. For me,they all have strengths and weaknesses. I’d like to love Kathleen Vinehout, since at least she’d be a grass-rootsy option but not as odd as Doug La Follette (he’s a good guy with good ideas and has done excellent work as Sec of State, but he’s not a terribly magnetic personality). She’s smart, a dairy farmer, a former college prof, and really connects with issues around the state; she’s also the only one not from an urban area. She was one of the 14 state senators that left the state, which plays well with some voters, badly with others. I hesitate on her because she’s squishy on reproductive rights and socially conservative on other issues that don’t appeal to me but probably appeal to people less radical than I am. She doesn’t have much name recognition, though, and while she’s energetic and seems to be tireless in getting out there to meet as many people as she can, she doesn’t have a lot of money, especially compared to the other Kathleen.

    Kathleen Falk was Dane County Executive (basically the same position Walker had for Milwaukee, but for the county Madison’s in) for a number of years before stepping down. She did a good job with the county, but she’s lost two statewide races before (2002 gov. primary; 2006 attorney general). She lined up big union endorsements really early on, which doesn’t sit well with a lot of people (including a lot of people in those unions), since it comes across as business as usual. It’s also probably one of the things that kept out several candidates that a lot of people on the ground were really hoping would get in (in particular, assembly minority leader Peter Barca). She’s widely seen as the choice of the state party establishment. That said, as I said, she did a good job with the county, and unlike Walker her ethics are pristine. Also, she’s been working hard to get around the state and get to know people and their issues.

    Tom Barrett is widely seen as the choice of the national party establishment. He’s a nice guy, but he’s been sticking it to the unions almost as much as Walker. He’s a school choice proponent and buddies with Rahm Emanuel, who was just here for a fundraiser (which was met by union protesters). If he’s going to do this, he’ll have to run a much more energetic campaign than last time and spend time away from home (in 2010, he insisted on being home every night, which really doesn’t work in a state this size).

    I could go on, but it looks like I already have done so long enough.

  11. 11
    kideni says:

    I realize that my previous comment sounds like I’m discouraged. I’m not, actually. Anyone will be better than Walker, and if Falk or Barrett is the nominee, then I will gladly do whatever I can for them. As someone on another board noted, if you want a worthy grass-roots campaign to get excited about, then support Lori Compas, who’s running a fantastic David-v-Goliath campaign against former (hah!) senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald, and doing it well.

  12. 12
    Quincy says:

    I like Falk better than Barrett, but for me it comes down to whoever’s most likely to win. This needs to be a shot across the bow for wingnut governors elsewhere. There have to be consequences for unrestrained Kochism.

  13. 13
    Greg says:


    I have an irrational love for Lori Compas. My brain says “Help a candidate who has a chance” but my heart says “Give Lori everything you can”

  14. 14
    kideni says:

    @Greg: She is utterly adorable yet tenacious. It sounds like she’s come up with a good platform that reflects what people in her district are looking for. Fitz will run the dirtiest campaign against her that he can, seeing as how he got into office on the heels of an anti-Semitic whisper campaign against the sitting state senator, but I don’t think it’ll work on anyone who’s not an asshole like him, since she’s so likable. He’ll just look like a bully. Did you see her at the listening session last fall when she took him to task about lying about the recall against him? She was fantastic!

  15. 15
    Jay C says:


    For months, I’ve been commenting on every blog I’ve logged into (and I’ll say it again here) – that the Walker recall in WI is most probably the most vitally important election of this year – for the whole country, not just Wisconsin.

    I think that whichever party emerges victorious in WI after June 5th will get an almost inestimable boost in electoral prestige and be able to leverage the publicity (despite the best efforts at spin by the losers) to great advantage in the Fall General Election. And for anyone who cares in the least about what is good the country as a whole ought to do everything they can to ensure that those victors have (D) after their names.

    The recall certification was the “shot across the bows”: we have to make damn sure that the next shot is as big a caliber APEX as we can fire: and that it lands true and sinks the fnckers: I don’t think we’ll get another shot.

  16. 16
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I’ll back up what’s being said: Whoever can win. I’m sure all the Dems have some warts, but I don’t care, I want Walker outta there.

  17. 17
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    Those photos of Walker looking all crosseyed and half dazed reminded me of somebody, but just who it was escaped me until just the other day. It’s Charlie Callas–a 60s era comic and character actor. Remember him?

  18. 18
    PTirebiter says:

    @Quaker in a Basement: Hell yea. I think it was 1968 when I ditched school with a couple of pals to go to a taping of the Steve Allen Show. Charlie did a stand up set and Tim Hardin was the musical guest. I sometimes forget just how fun being 16 was.
    Probably aound the time we were reading the Jungle and hearing about I was learning something Fighting Bob La Follete. Fighting Doug doesn’t have the same cache. I don’t live anywhere near Wisconsin so I’ll happily support whomever their D team picks.

  19. 19
    lol chikinburd says:

    Still wish Barca would run. He probably won’t now that Barrett’s joined Falk in sucking all the oxygen out of the race, and enthusiasm with it.
    Barrett, lackluster as his 2010 campaign may have been, has still got to be preferable to Falk. Falk found a way to lose as a Democrat in 2006 — let me repeat that: she lost, as a Democrat, in 2006 — and has accumulated baggage since then in her remaining tenure as county exec (and in ditching that job to run for governor again in ’10). That she’d so eagerly run again suggests a heedlessness to the health and fate of the broader pro-democracy movement that sprang up in this state and motivated the recall in the first place.
    But, again, Barca would be far more inspiring.

  20. 20
    Comrade Carter says:

    As a Badger, and as a Democrat (and someone from Milwaukee County, in fact from Scott Walker’s hometown, Wauwatosa) let me say:

    Tom Barrett.

    Yeah, I too like Kathleen Falk. But she’s from Madison, and Tom Barrett is from Milwaukee.

  21. 21
    dgc says:

    I think Tom Barrett will be the strongest candidate, but as others have said anyone with a (D). I’m going to knock on doors for Lori Compas to return the favor of people in other districts who helped elect the wonderful Jessica King over Randy “Bed” Hopper in my State Senate district.

  22. 22
    Tom says:

    As a former Wisconsinite (I live in Minneapolis now), I’ll echo that Falk and Barrett are the two serious candidates. The others are bit players. Both of those two seem to have been running for statewide office (and losing, whether in primaries to former Gov. Doyle or the general to Walker) for the last 10 years. Barrett’s website seems to emphasize going back to pre-Walker (collective bargaining, etc.). Falk emphasizes transparency and of course will try to but back CB. I’d be happy with either of them.

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