National politics ascend on Wisconsin elections
July 20th, 2011
02:12 PM ET
10 years ago

National politics ascend on Wisconsin elections

(CNN) - The recall elections of state senators in Wisconsin are receiving increased national attention, with both sides of the political aisle capitalizing on the events.

The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama, a conservative political action committee, used Tuesday's race as a fundraising opportunity while Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal advocacy group, and Democracy For America launched an ad in Wisconsin.

In the first of nine recall elections Tuesday, incumbent Democratic state Sen. Dave Hansen beat Republican David VanderLeest, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Elections will be held throughout the summer in response to the bitter state battle over collective bargaining rights that shut down the state legislature for weeks in February and March.

The conservative PAC sent a letter Wednesday to supporters asking for donations to help defeat Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and conservative state senators.

"If just 3 Republicans lose then Republicans will no longer control the State Legislature and Democrats will be able to block Gov. Scott Walker's budget reforms efforts and legislation," the letter read.

In the recall elections, state Democrats object to Republican legislators' support of the law while Republicans are critical of Democratic lawmakers who left the state during negotiations in opposition to Gov. Walker's agenda, in an effort to block the bill.

PCCC announced a $100,000 ad buy Wednesday that will air in the Green Bay and Madison media markets for a week.

The spot, launched in conjunction with Wisconsin's Democracy for America Recall Committee, targets Republican state Sen. Luther Olsen, who will face Democratic Assemblyman Fred Clark in an election on August 9.

The ad shows a couple blaming Olsen and the Republican budget as the reason their children have to change schools.

"Luther Olsen is part of the war on working families that is hurting schools and communities across Wisconsin - all to give tax cuts to big corporations," co-founder of PCCC Stephanie Taylor said in a statement. "The story of the Jones family is the story of families across Wisconsin. Together, they are fighting back - and they are going to win."

The Wisconsin budget bill, which was upheld by the state Supreme Court in June, sharply divided the state earlier in the year. Republicans insisted the measure was necessary to control the skyrocketing costs of public employee benefits and close the budget shortfall. Democrats argued that it was an attempt to gut public-sector labor unions, one of their core constituencies.

Under the Wisconsin law, all public workers except police and firefighters would be required to cover more of their retirement plan contributions and health care premiums.

Filed under: PCCC • Wisconsin
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. WiredwierdinSF

    The corrupt unions will squeeze every bit of money out of taxpayers to support their corrupt and willing allies, the democrat liberals.

    July 20, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. ConservaFASCISTS/Domestic Terrorists/Taliban/Al Queda/TRAITORS

    incumbent Democratic state Sen. Dave Hansen beat Republican David VanderLeest
    He didn't just beat him. He spanked him and made him his female dog. These fascists republicans are seeing their radical agenda backfiring in their faces. How's that chant go again: THE PEOPLE, UNITED, CAN NEVER BE DEFEATED!!!

    July 20, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. Democrat Class Warfare & Race Baiting - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    The ad shows a couple blaming Olsen and the Republican budget as the reason their children have to change schools.
    At least they still have a school to go to. If the Democrats continue to bankrupt the state, what do you think is going to happen to the schools? People need to wake up and get real. Either you spend yourself into bankruptcy enjoying every now and disregard the future, OR you start acting responsibily NOW to ensure you and your kids have a decent future. The Democrats and their me, me, me, mentality have caused fiscal ruin everywhere in this country.

    July 20, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. John

    That what need to be done Is get as many Republican Out of Office as we can In 2012. The Republican party have let the Tea Party ruin there Party and they are more worry about the Rich than the American people.

    July 20, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. The Prince of Common Cents

    For all you Republican state senators that backed the lunatic Scott Walker's Budget Bill that clearly took away collective bargaining rights of all public workers: The "fit" is about to hit the "shan!"

    July 20, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. Sudzzz

    I wouldn't be surprised to see 8 million votes cast in this state of 6 million.

    July 20, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. Ken in NC

    Republicans around the country begged to be given a second chance in 2010. They got it and they screwed it up. Claiming their agenda was going to be Jobs, Jobs, Jobs and they got their chance and the first thing they did was go into the Doctors offices with women and began telling Doctors what to say to women and telling women what the Republican Party would allow and not allow them to do with their bodies. Well now it is payback time. It's starting in Madison, Wi. and it will come to a conclusion in Washington, DC in November of 2012. Planes leaving DC will be packed with Republicans departing for parts unknown. The moon would be a good destination. Please allow me to do the honors. I'll gladly light the fuse on your Roman Candle to begin your one way trip to the moon.

    July 20, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    Gov Walker tried too hard and too fast to introduce FASCISM to the residents of that state.

    The others (NJ, PA, MI, OH) are just as bad, but they're trying to sneak it in a little at a time - FASCISM = CORPORATISM where corporations and the super-wealthy take absolute control of everyone and everything. Watch and see.

    July 20, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. Texas Doc

    The GOP brand in Wisconsin is trashed. What is happening to them now is what will happen nationally in 2012. The GOP is toast and for good reason, America woke and realized that the GOP is no good at governing at any level. If you are a rich white person, yay, you have a seat at the GOP table. Sorry Tea Party you guys got taken for a ride (you got what you deserved). Good luck with that defeating Obama part. He is going to destroy any candidate they field.

    July 20, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. a in austin

    Lead the way Wisconsin! So proud of the hard fight Main Street has taken on to get rid of the corrupt gop takeover. Hopefully, other states will follow suit.

    July 20, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. DIANA

    The people of Wisconsin know they made a mistake when the voted Republican and they want to correct their error. I want to know who the Demiocrats are who are running to see if I could donate to them. Wisconsin is the canary for the Republican's they better be paying attention.

    July 20, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. fbmarky

    One down, two to go. Bu-bye tea baggers!

    July 20, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. Jim in San Mateo

    What the writer forgot to tell us what that the problem WASN'T PAYING MORE FOR RETIREMENT IS WAS THE DISMANTLEMENT OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.

    July 20, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  14. cindy

    Yeeeaaaa Wisconsin!!!!!

    July 20, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Republicans were beaten like a drum last night. HA! 2011 is just the opening act for the taxidermy that will take place in 2012. Amazingly, Republicans still think they have a trouble getting their message through to the American people.

    July 20, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. Jay

    Wisconsin folks, "Welcome to the Gop Pac of Lies. American Blue Collar workers,the middleclass,and Parents of children,who want their childs education, are behind you!!!! Gop does,nt give a D-M about your jobs,education,and the welfare of Americans. They say, Give it to the Wealthy!!!!! Keep up the good work,Wisconsin!!!! The people will win,over Greed.

    July 20, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. A Repulbican

    We're going keep social re-engineering in the name of balance budget, so next up we'll figure out a way to get those police and firefighters unions as well.

    July 20, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. Clark

    Keep track of what the GOP is doing in Wisconsin. This is the ultra right wing agenda they want to pass throughout the nation. The people of Wisconsin have woken up to these absurd Tea Party lies and have already proven to cost Wisconsin Tax payers millions of dollars by turning down Federal money to fix our crumbling train infrastructure.

    July 20, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  19. MTATL67

    Ask yourself. Do you enjoy your 40 hour work week (or your weekends)? Glad your children do not have to go to work to help support your family? Is your work environment safe from hazards? If you answer is yes to these then you owe a thank you to unions and gilds. Without them there would be no labor laws protecting us and our children from employers. Remember companies are not people they do not have a conscience or a heart they have a bottom line. The Governor and the Republican controlled legislators of Wisconsin help corporations bottom line not the citizens and families of Wisconsin or even the country.

    July 20, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  20. A real American

    "Under the Wisconsin law, all public workers except police and firefighters would be required to cover more of their retirement plan contributions and health care premiums."

    Actually, the unions already agreed to the increased premiums. The issue is really that their collective bargaining rights with respect to wages was taken away. Funny how the governor points out budget problems after he took office and issued a large tax cut for businesses. But I guess that doesn't fit the anti-union narrative.

    July 20, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  21. Big D.

    1 down 8 to go. Power to the people of Wisconsin. Take back your state. Tell the Koch brothers Wisconsin is not for sale.

    July 20, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. V in Chicago

    The only way to clear the gridlock in both the States and Washington is to recall the TeaParty extremist who have no intention of compromising with anyone on anything. They are causing the stalemate in Washington and they are doing considerable damage to States, as in Wisconsin. The Democrats are partly to blame in that too many of them did not get out and vote in 2010. That's how this extremist got in to office. We HAVE to make sure this doesn't happen again in 2012!! Whether you are a Democrat, an Independant or a "normal" Republican, you have to make sure you do not let this gang of morons continue to be in positions to make policy changes in their States or the Country.

    July 20, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. Tracy

    Come on Wisconsin. Get those old farts out of there. How many of you guys have corporate jets or Caymen Island (tax free) bank accounts? In essence, how many of you are getting a tax break for all the wealth you have... ?

    July 20, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. Independent In Albany

    The GOP is losing the center, and with it, their chances in November

    July 20, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. End GOPerate greed

    Teahadists are fading all across America and Wasserman-Schultz is making them weep.
    Keep up the good work exposing the girly men for the cowering lizard-brains they are.

    July 20, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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