New wave of Wisconsin recall elections are here
Thousands of demonstrators protest outside the Wisconsin State Capitol March 12, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin.
August 9th, 2011
08:40 AM ET
11 years ago

New wave of Wisconsin recall elections are here

(CNN) - The fallout from the Wisconsin saga over collective bargaining rights that ignited in February continues Tuesday with six recall elections that potentially hold national political implications in the bellwether state.

Six incumbent Republican state senators are targeted in the contests that are in part a referendum on GOP Gov. Scott Walker and the target of increased political advertising and spending.

Republicans hope to retain the majority in the state Senate, which they currently hold 19-14. Democrats are angling to win 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 budget battle between unions and the agenda of Gov. Walker, who was elected last November with strong support from tea party activists, which 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. The legislation was upheld by the state Supreme Court in June.

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 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.

Amy Kremer, the chairman of Tea Party Express, said Washington should take a lesson from the Wisconsin recall elections.

"These Republicans and Gov. Walker have done what they were sent to do," Kremer said Tuesday on CNN's "American Morning." "Wisconsin is leading the way in turning the economy around and creating jobs again."

But Dian Palmer, president of SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin, said "nobody should take example after Wisconsin."

"We took a state that was very settled and disrupted it," Palmer said on CNN. "We caused a lot of havoc in the state because of what the Republicans have done."

Ken Goldstein, president of Campaign Media Analysis Group and CNN's consultant on TV advertising, 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 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: Scott Walker • Wisconsin
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    this seems mighty small stuff after yesterday disaster on wall street and the loss of all those seals...
    I guess it would to a "mighty small" mind. Do try and keep up dear...

    August 9, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  2. Papa Ray

    From the NoTags

    "Today is going to be a good barometer of what to look for in 2012.
    August 9, 2011 09:09 am at 9:09 am | "

    Your 110% correct. I have a suggestion...after the "votes" are all in, even including the normal democrat election fraud, I want all the liberal democrats to come back here and tell all of us how they only lost because of – "whatever reason" – they want to explain. How they lost and the conservatives and republicans won.

    I just love to read the spin, lies, deception of those that want to live off of other peoples money...that is all gone now. You only have one thing to be remembered by the people of your state.

    You successfully sucked every dollar you could – before you were told – that there would be no more from all the people who were tired and fed up by your unions and your liberal socialists.

    You are finished. But we know you won't give up, because you do not live in the same world as most others. You reject reality and embrace fantasies and socialism.

    Papa Ray

    August 9, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  3. fayse

    America will be watching the re call elections and I do sincerley hope that they get all of the Tea baggers out of office in Wisconsin and across the entire Contry. Everyone was watching the debt ceiling mess which was responsible for the downturn in the Stock Market. The Tea Party can protest all that they want to. They said that they did what they were sent to do which proves that the Tea Party is not good for America. The low turn out of voters in 2010 opened the gates for these radical, extremist and uneducated bunch of lunatics to force their uninformed will on the rest of us. Vote out all Tea Party and GOP in 2012.
    This is not a " grassroots movement" This is the handy work of the richest,Corporate Overlords who bankrolled this group of Traitiors. I call them traitors because they took "common sense hostage" And they have done serious damage the economy of our Country.

    August 9, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  4. Myron8160

    Hey time to get SQUEAKY CLEAN hual off trash we koww as the new gopteabaggers KKK without SHEETS who are bringing more garbage to STORMFRONT WHITE PRIDE.ORG the people with the SHEETS wow 2012 cant get here fast so we can save conutry

    August 9, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  5. Screw the unions

    Republicans good luck today don't let the liberals take control of your life's you will go broke again... Go GOP!

    August 9, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  6. HmmmInteresting

    IIf Wisconsin is able to pull this off. Imagine what New Jersey Voters would do to Chris Christie.

    August 9, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. Don

    To "dotherightthing4", people who have different opinions from you are not automatically "stupid". Your failure to compromise, listen, engage in conversation is emblematic of the people who are being recalled. In politics, compromise is a stength, not a weakness. These people being recalled are being punished for that very same weakness.

    August 9, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    dotherightthing4 wrote:
    Hope the GOP prevails despite all the union thuggery and stupid people posting here. It should be apparent from the current state of affairs in this country that Obamanomics is not working.
    How would you feel if you worked a job for 10-20 years, paid into a pension, and as you near retirement you are told that you will not be getting the pension that you were promised? Instead of paying for your pension, for which we have failed to make the contributions that deducted out of your paycheck, we are going to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. Somehow, I don't think you would like to hear that as you near retirement. I think it would make be most unsettling.

    August 9, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. ConservaFASCISTS/Tealiban/Tea Queda

    The country as a whole needs to follow in Wisconsinites footsteps and recall the U.S. House of Representatives.

    August 9, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  10. Kathie

    Google "Dominionism". watch out for Perry, Palin, Bachmann, Etc. Far right wing political thinking is lined up with this movement. After googling "Dominionism", go to Rick Perry's site from his "The Response" website the, click on the "Leadership" tab, it's a who's who with regard to the people and organizations involve. This was one big outing for Dominionists who subscribe to the "seven mountain's" teachings which instruct called, chosen and anoited chrisitian leaders to infiltrate seven areas of life in order to have dominion over the world. They believe that once they must have dominion and control over the entire earth in order for the second coming to happen. Not sure if Scott Walker is part of this network, but his ideas are in line with them. It goes back to a man named Rousas John Rushdoony. Enjoy your experience, it will be enlightening and frightening.

    August 9, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  11. denice

    Wisconsin, "America is "Proud you are setting the "Example of Peaceful Demonstrations by the people!! Your "Courage and Will" to stand up to "Injustice to the Working People of the USA!! Unemployed and working Americans "Applaude YOU! Stay "Focused on Corporate Oppression" America will follow! Thanks!!!!!

    August 9, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  12. lynn

    dotheright thing calls every person who thinks for themselves stupid. Jobs moving into WI, really? Not if you're a teacher, how many teaching jobs were lost thanks to the Tea Partiers? And the lost AAA+ rating was bought and paid for nationwide by the Tea idiots, who are determined to make Obama look bad. The GOP took our country to the pits, thank goodness we're not all stupid.

    August 9, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  13. Sniffit

    So when are the whining reports from GOPers scheduled to begin, accusing the Dems of using NASA to "bus in" Tralfamadorians to vote for their candidates? Saaaaay, 3pm or so?

    And never fear, I expect to hear reports of questionable polling practices and GOP voter suppression attempts by 2, follwed this evening by magically missing/found GOP votes.

    August 9, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  14. Whoosh

    Dothewrongthing: The people will prevail b/c WHRN TRUTH CRASHES TO THE EARTH; IT RISES AGAIN!
    You sir, are a product of what you support-thus the name calling. The people will prevail and people like you and your kind can just live with it or leave the country. It's just that simple.

    August 9, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  15. Al-NY,NY

    Amy Kremer, the chairman of Tea Party Express, said Washington should take a lesson from the Wisconsin recall elections.

    OK, so if the Baggers lose, will you go away?

    August 9, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  16. ChumBucket

    Love to read these liberal comments, the hate is so pleasant.

    Please, keep it up, it's very entertaining.

    August 9, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  17. BeverlyNC

    GO PEOPLE ! I am praying for you in Wisconsim today that you take back your State from these traitor Republicans and show the PEOPLE will not be betrayed, stomped on, and their rights taken away.
    Let's show these arrogant Republicans the PEOPLE are the real POWER of our country. Get rid of them all.

    Show the Republican party that this is what is going to happen to ALL Republicans across America in 2012. Republicans are traitors to the PEOPLE, to AMERICA, and do NOT represent anything the PEOPLE want or need – like JOBS, PROMISES made long ago for Social Security and Medicare we PAID INTO our WHOLE WORKING LIVES and a decent life for us and our families – high-quality education, worker rights, respect for people regardless of station in life (being rich does not make you a better person – it makes you greedy, heartless, and corrupt), and opportunities for ALL AMERICANS to achieve what they work for and dream for themselves.
    We the PEOPLE will NOT let Republicans DESTROY America, destroy our economy, destroy any more JOBS, take away anymore of our rights, and we will NOT let liars, haters, racists, and traitoris hold ANY elected office.

    August 9, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. Randy

    I don't live in Wisconsin but my thoughts/hopes are absolutely there with the people's efforts to turn back the Republican and Tea Party's influence. This is the news I'll tune into today.

    August 9, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. Adan

    Here comes the lunatic name calling liberals. If it’s profane and wildly inaccurate you know they said it.

    August 9, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. L4Legend

    Recall the governor next.

    August 9, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
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