National politics ascend on Wisconsin elections
July 20th, 2011
02:12 PM ET
11 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. Terri Geer

    "In the recall elections, state Democrats object to Republican legislators' support of the law"

    This is not true at all. What they object to is the wholesale push to disenfranchise a group of workers because they wanted to. That group had already agreed to the cuts that the Legislature and Governor had wanted. The ONLY reason that the Legislature and the Governor pushed it was because they wanted to. What they did had no bearing on the finances of the State Government.

    Collective bargaining is a right, and was won, in this country, with a LOT of blood.

    July 20, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Wisconsin is on the front line of the GOBP class war on the poor, the middle class, unions and teachers. Vote rigging also appears to be commonplace with certain teatard election officials (See Waukesha). The Dems better turn out the vote, because while the GOBPbaggers lie about ACORN skewing elections, recent history has shown it's the Greedy Old Pigs who are all to willing to rig elections.

    July 20, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Wisconsin I love you, keep the great work going and get rid of those Rethugs and don't stop until Walker is shut down.

    July 20, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    The Walker Budget was not just about the retirement and health care premiums. The labor unions had agreed to all of those terms. What the Walker Budget was about was the effective dismantling of the collective bargaining rights of the Public Employee unions. And anyone who believes the Police and Fire Fighters' unions will be immune to this in the next round also believes that Unicorns graze peacefully under the rainbows on their front lawns.

    These coordinated attacks against the Unions have been part of the Republican Party agenda since the late 1940s. While I and just about everyone else who works in the private sector believe that public employees have had a better deal than those of us required to make contributions to health care and retirement, they should not be denied the rights to negotiate for safe working environments, which is one of the conditions undermined by the Walker Budget.

    Now that the impact of the draconian cuts of this budget are being felt by the people of Wisconsin, the Republican majority of the Senate is running scared. They know the people who voted them in have realized they were royally screwed by a bunch of people with no concern for their constituents. They even went so far as to run "paper tiger" opponents against Democrats in the primaries for the recalls, with the assumption that a weak "paper tiger" Democratic candidate would either not run a campaign, or withdraw from the election before the recall. Guess what, it didn't work. The actual Democrats won their primaries, and the first Recall reseated a Democrat who the Republicans hoped to oust.

    July 20, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. Embarrased Conservative

    I think it is safe to say that Wisconsin will have a Dem majority again and Walker won't last much longer. The repubs pushed way to hard since the last election cycle. Satisfying your base is great but in government you still need to be able to find middle ground to satisfy the masses.

    July 20, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. joseph Agunbiade

    Republicans are the devils that are dragging this country down. The earlier the citizens wake up and vote them out the better.

    July 20, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. DENNA

    Police and firefighters evidently support the Republican Robber Barons, so they get a pass. I think that everyone who draws a government paycheck should be required to the same work rules a private sector employees. I have to pay more for my healthcare each year, why not all of the congressmen and senators?

    July 20, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. vic , nashville ,tn

    Wisconsin may recall Paul Ryan and Scott Walker

    July 20, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. Lisa P

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

    Really? This isn't at all what I would expect, but if a conservative PAC now wants to help the liberal, Democratic, progressive, independent and just plain old regular people of Wisconsin in defeating Scott Walker and the GOP senators, who am I to object? Join the crowd!

    July 20, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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