Friday, December 9, 2011

Wisconsin Recalls

Several months ago, I took part in collecting signatures for a recalling a Wisconsin state senator. Now, the effort to recall the governor, Scott Walker, is underway.

From the news reports I'm reading about the effort, progress on collecting signatures seems to be proceeding at a fast pace. When I was up helping collect signatures, we were warned not to give a clipboard to someone in a car, as they had several clipboards stolen from them by people who would stop under the pretense of signing, and drive off with the signatures. We heard stories of people who drove by and took banners out of petition collector's hands. While I was there, people drove by with all sorts of racial slurs for me. (The most surprising were the ones that were correctly identified my race.) It seems that this time around, that type of activity, and worse, is still occurring, but at least the police seem to take it seriously.

In August, Wisconsin failed in its attempt to recall enough state senators to go from a democratic minority to a majority. To be fair, the general political wisdom seems to be that it is very difficult to recall anyone from office, and the two state senators recalled in Wisconsin are 2 of the 6 state senators ever recalled in US history. And now, they are trying for governor Walker. The only other successful gubernatorial recall ever was of Governor Davis in California in 2003.

I have a huge amount of respect for the women I was out collecting signatures with last time. They hit the pavement every day in a very conservative district, exposing themselves to significant disdain and hatred from their neighbors and townspeople, and not an insignificant amount of danger. I can't be with them in their efforts this time around, but my thoughts and best wishes are with them.

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