An Update on the Recall
By Jessica Walworth
If you have left campus in the past year, you might know that Scott Walker is on a lot of minds and protest signs. If you have not followed Wisconsin politics lately, and I grant that it is hard to keep up, let me fill you in. After fulfilling his 2010 campaign promises and taking Wisconsin from a $3 billion deficit to its current $300 million surplus, Governor Walker is facing recall. Walker’s accomplishments as Governor are not limited to the economy, yet union’s efforts were successful in procuring 840,000 signatures to force the Governor to face a recall election.
The latest news on the recall is who Walker will face. A primary is scheduled for May 8th to decide Walker’s opponent on the June 5th general election. And current polls show the primary will prove complex.
The union’s favored candidate Kathleen Falk may not survive the primary now that Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has thrown his hat into the race. Barrett, who lost the original 2010 race against Governor Scott Walker, is a “game changer,” according to executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association Union.
According to the Boston Globe, Falk has obtained every major endorsement and the backing of large unions representing teachers and public workers. Yet a Marquette Law School poll, released just days before Barrett got into the race, shows Barrett leading Falk 36 percent to 29 percent among surveyed voters, but with 17 percent undecided. In this poll, neither candidate takes Walker.
Barrett and Falk are not the only Democrats vying to get their names on the ticket. Secretary of State Doug La Follette and state Senator Kathleen Vinehout of Alma will join Barrett and Falk on the primary ballot in May.
The two leading candidates are approaching the election with different agendas and contradicting promises. Falk promises vetoing any state budget that does not completely restore collective bargaining rights and claims her campaign’s central focus is Walker’s betrayal of Wisconsin voters with his agenda of slashing education funding, reducing Medicaid services, and changing environmental laws. Barrett is implementing Walker’s law that spurred the recall efforts in Milwaukee—and saving Milwaukee a lot of money in doing so. Barrett concedes that union rights are not a sole focus in his campaign making him a less extreme candidate and a less desirable candidate for union members.
Republicans remain hopeful—especially if Walker faces Barrett in the general election: "We look forward to contrasting Governor Walker's bold record of moving Wisconsin forward with Barrett's liberal tax-and-spend agenda that has only led to a total downward spiral of Milwaukee's economy," Wisconsin Republican Party spokesman Ben Sparks said.
June 5th is not the ideal voting date for most CCMC members. It does not, however, keep college students from casting their vote in the recall election. CCMC is partnering with Wisconsin Family Action to ensure Maranatha students have the opportunity to complete an absentee ballot application for the Governor race. Stay tuned to The Manifesto for more information on the recall election.