New wave of Wisconsin recall elections coming Tuesday
Thousands of demonstrators protest outside the Wisconsin State Capitol March 12, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin.
August 8th, 2011
03:47 PM ET
11 years ago

New wave of Wisconsin recall elections coming Tuesday

(CNN) - The fallout from the Wisconsin saga over collective bargaining rights that ignited in February continues Tuesday with six recall elections.

Six incumbent Republican state senators are targeted in the contests. Republicans hope to retain the majority in the state Senate, which they currently hold 19-14. Democrats are angling for GOP-held seats to capture control of the upper chamber.

A Democratic incumbent state senator held onto his seat in July, and two other Democrats will be on the ballot August 16th.

The elections stem from a law, which was upheld by the state Supreme Court in June that 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 it was an attempt to gut public-sector labor unions, one of their core constituencies.

In the recall elections, state Democrats object to Republican legislators' support of the collective bargaining law while Republicans are critical of Democratic lawmakers who left the state during negotiations in opposition to Republican Gov. Scott Walker's agenda, in an effort to block the bill. While the debate waged on, the fleeing lawmakers and protests at the state capitol made national headlines.

The debate has consistently attracted national attention and funds. Independent groups from both sides of the aisle released ads in the Badger State and tea party groups joined forces Friday for a four-day bus tour defending the Republican lawmakers.

The Tea Party Express hosted rallies Monday "as a final push to support conservatives who know that responsible budget reform has brought new jobs and greater prosperity to the state of Wisconsin," according to the group.

Ken Goldstein, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of the Wisconsin Advertising Project, said the amount of money flowing into the races is "extraordinary."

"To see this much spent in Senate elections and to see this much spent on broadcast TV is absolutely unprecedented," Goldstein, a CNN contributor, said. "The races have become nationalized and the perceived stakes are high, so there is lots of money to play with."

- CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: Wisconsin
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Freedom2012

    Elect the REPUBLICANS!!! They stayed and did their job while the Democrats ran off to Illinois. We need people with spines (not spineless people)! If you want American lovers=Republicans, Socialist union supporters=Democrats. It is that simple.

    August 8, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    But they've worked SO hard this year to make Wisconsin the 1st Fascist State.

    I hope all 6 dems beat the pants off those traitors in the republican Wisconsin government. Then they can get back on the right track to FREEDOM from oppression.

    August 8, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    The DOW just closed and was down 600 points. The tea party has to be voted out, they are ruining our country. They must be voted out in every election. Wisconsin go to the polls and get them out of office.

    August 8, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. Don

    The recall election has nothing to do with budgets.
    The Wisconsin Public Unions want the right to control the elected officials which means the Democrats must win.
    The Unions have a large amount of money and are very well orgainized so the chances of them winning back those seats are pretty good.
    Those of us who want our taxes to be reduced or remain the same are not as well orgainized so I'm sure the Unions will pull off the win. That means we will be right back with them gaining pay and benefits and me paying higher taxes.

    August 8, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. A Kickin' Donkey

    This will be the real test for the nation. Based on every poll out there, the public doesn't trust the Tea Party, doesn't trust the Republicans and doesn't trust the Wisconsin Governor.

    In 2010, these folks stayed home or voted for the Republicans/ Tea Party types and in the wake of that election, we've seen assaults of middle class workers rights. Efforts that have been used to legislatively transfer wealth and earning power from working families to businesses.

    I hope the Republicans get routed. It is up to every Democrat in Wisconsin to get out to vote tomorrow or drive someone to the polls that otherwise would not go. I hope enough groundwork was put into the get-out-the-vote-effort. Democrats have the backing of the people. They just need to get them to the polls.

    August 8, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    The question comes down to THIS. Does government exist to serve ALL of the people of the state or does it exist to serve the unions? Will a small, vocal vicious minority of union thugs force governments to bankrupt themselves in order to pay for over priced union pay scales and cadillac benefits most tax payers do not enjoy, but are expected to pay for?

    August 8, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. cecilia

    Good luck to all of you brave souls in WI – I will be watching and praying that you are able to rid yourselves of every tea party republican in the State – you deserve the best and that sure is not a republican

    August 8, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. John

    Smash the Republicans. Destroy them!

    August 8, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Richard

    As a former Wisconsinite, it's very very sad to see a big tea bag flying over the capitol instead of the badger flag. Cheeseheads have been replaced by airheads. Hope they take good care of the cows.

    August 8, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. dd

    I hope people of wi that can vote...take out the gop! please take a look at all the other states that are going through crap that the rdepubs are doing to the people!

    August 8, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  11. dd

    Also look at dc today...they are a menus to us all down with tp and repubs

    August 8, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. al in memphis

    . "The races have become nationalized and the perceived stakes are high, so there is lots of money to play with."

    Do you really need more proof that our political system is about who can spend the most money to get elected? That is why the Supreme Court decision to allow special interest to contribute as much as they want will ruin this country.

    August 8, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Positive

    Go WI!

    Vote out all Republicans!

    August 8, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Beverly - NYC

    How long before the fair & Balanced network uses this picture and pretends these are Tea Party patriots.

    GO Wisconsin, first the Seanate, then Mr. Walker

    August 8, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. Dee Crooks

    I a an indepdent and I am appauld mostley at theG.O.P> .They are letting the tea party lead them by the nose. The tea party did not care if we defaulted And look at what they are saying- It is all Presidentant's fault. .They remind me of spoiled children. If you don't play my game I'm going home. I am from Ohio and and I am deeply upset with John boehner. He says the President is leading from the rear but he is not even doing that! He is following tea party orders. Please congress get you act together and become a party of compromise and forget about being thetea party's "little pupets" Thank you

    August 8, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Get and vote Wisconsin. And keep an eye on your corrupt election officials, like that clown in Waukesha County.

    August 8, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. Marie MD

    Go Wisconsin. Analysts are saying that by throwing out the bums of the rethug/teabagging party the country will start the cleansing of the republikans domestic terrorists.

    August 8, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  18. John

    I've always thought highly of Wisconsin as one of the states with the most intelligent people, until the the last election.

    This will be both interesting and telling.

    August 8, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |