Dems win both WI recall votes

The Democrats are claiming that the failure of the GOP to recall two Wisconsin state senators yesterday was proof that the people supported their fleabagging tactics.

Nice try, but sorry.

The people of Wisconsin were heartily sick of the recall efforts as evidenced by the low turnout. Further, the move to recall Governor Walker appears to be losing steam as most Wisconsinites now oppose a recall election.

That said, the GOP lost a golden opportunity to increase their 17-16 margin in the senate.


The six-month saga that was Wisconsin's state Senate recall movement ended Tuesday with Democrats retaining two seats - and Republicans still in possession of a week-old, razor-thin 17-16 majority.

On the fourth election day of the summer, two Democratic incumbents were victorious. Sen. Jim Holperin (D-Conover) beat challenger and tea party activist Kim Simac of Eagle River, and Sen. Bob Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie) easily topped Republican lawyer Jonathan Steitz.

Bottom line: Republicans will continue to control the agenda in the Capitol, but it will be difficult for Gov. Scott Walker and other GOP leaders to get everything they want.

Holperin said he believes his win and that of Wirch showed that voters in both districts supported the move by the 14 Senate Democrats to leave the state earlier this year to delay a vote on the budget-repair bill that limited collective bargaining for public employees. "Maybe it shows that voters indicated they deserved more time to let their voice be heard on such an important piece of legislation," he said.

Recall elections were originally supposed to remove lawmakers in the middle of their term who had transgressed in some way - not because they voted for legislation that angered one side or the other. This process in Wisconsin is an open invitation for both sides to do great mischief to our democracy, invalidating elections based on nothing more than partisan reasons.

The recalls showed that powerful interests can manipulate our democracy in ways that were never intended. It should stop now, but it won't. We're bound to see more recalls where the majority party has a slim advantage.