Recall Election: Dems Fail to Gain Senate Majority
Written By: Jerry Hanson | Posted: Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
Republicans narrowly won Wisconsin's unprecedented recall elections. In the August 9th elections, Democrats took two Wisconsin state Senate seats. That's one short of the Democrat's goal of three, which would have allowed the party to gain majority control of the Wisconsin Senate. Across the country, conservatives and Republicans celebrated the win as a triumph for Gov. Scott Walker and his effort to reign in government spending by reducing collective bargaining "rights" for most public-sector unions.
By the time this issue of the Eau Claire Journal reaches the newsstands the results will also be in on the August 16th recall elections of two Democrat senators, Senators Jim Holperin and Bob Wirch. Holperin faces Republican Kim Simac and Bob Wirch faces Republican Jonathan Steitz, which are the last in this summer's series of recalls. Republicans are fairly confident they will win at least one of these seats. "These two Democrats have every reason to worry that voters will send them packing," said Stephan Thompson, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. "While the verdict is already in, and Republicans have maintained the senate majority in the face of an unprecedented assault from the national unions, next Tuesday is still an important opportunity for thousands of Wisconsinites to take a stand and demand that their elected officials face consequences for abandoning their duties," said Thompson.
If Republicans win both races on August 16th, the democrats will have gained nothing, but Wisconsin tax payers, cities and towns will be out hundreds of thousands of dollars in election costs. A USA Today editorial spoke to the issue of recall elections as follows: "Elections should mean something. Recalls should be used only in extreme cases, such as criminal conduct or egregious malfeasance. Giving voters a do-over when they disagree with a new policy undercuts the significance of regular elections (why bother when there'll be another one soon?). Recalls reward voters who failed to pay attention or vote the first time. And, most destructively, recalls make politicians wary of taking tough but unpopular steps to address problems."
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