Should Wisconsin’s recall process be changed?

Absolutely not; unless you are tolerant of incompetence.

By Jack E. Lohman

So now the right-wing wants to change Wisconsin’s recall system because “their guys” were called on the carpet, and they conveniently cite “cost to taxpayers” as the reason. Now THAT will get the people’s attention; you bet!

Whether a Republican or Democrat is being recalled, the recall process is a very valid safety valve given to voters/taxpayers who find out after-the-fact that they put in charge the wrong politician. It’s a small part of our democracy left over, and it should be protected.

I can easily see that politicians would not want this extra voter oversight, but to the right-wingers promoting it I’d say “be careful of what you ask for, your turn will come.”

But sunlight is in order, and union member money and shareholder money should not be used without approval of the owner of the money. (What a novel concept.)

And the threshold of signatures is fair and should be maintained. Somebody put together a good recall system and it should be protected.

The “values” of it all

Yea, I’m talking about “conservatives” that preach “values” but tolerate their absence in our political system. You know; where we have politicians of both stripes having their campaigns funded by the Fat Cats that want in our pockets. And the citizen wackos who want to maintain our corrupt political system because they think they are benefiting from it.

Those “values” people should also want a fair, accurate voting system, but they don’t. I agree with voter-id, and the last thing we should do is return to paper ballots and stuffing boxes with fraudulent votes. I support electronic counting but agree that the software doing the counting should be disclosed to prevent fraudulent software. I like the card readers because they permit recounts.

But solutions on political reform seem to evade us. Maybe some day we’ll be smarter.

2 Responses to Should Wisconsin’s recall process be changed?

  1. Annie K. says:

    Recalls along with Advisory and Binding referenda should all remain. But they should not be over-used, as publicity stunts or payback or any other types of short-sighted grandstanding. They should not be morphed inot being seen as just a nother Tool in the partisan Toolbox.

    Maturity, “statesmanship” and an eye on the long term repercussions are all required here. Naturally we will not see any of that, we will see opportunism and legal maneuvering. The parties insist on pushing the law to “the letter” and to hell with the “intent”. The Parties AND PACs (who have really co-opted the refernda option) are stealing tools that were meant to be a gift to the public and using them for their own ends.

    There WAS a spontaneous uprising that would be the type of situation where a recall instituted by a previously unorganized group of alarmed citizens would happen – old style recall. But there was NOT a spontaneous uprising of citizens in EACH DISTRICT where recalls were instituted by a larger out-of-district organized force. That group of outraged citizens WAS appropriate for a Walker recall, was NOT appropriate for individual recalls in the “revenge” districts. Those recalled people were openly chosen for recall BASED ON THEIR VULNERABILITY to the letter of the Law. Not the Intent.

    We do not see measured and thoughtful leadership or stewardship with an eye on the future as well as a look backwards to protect the foundations, what we see is political opportunism at every turn and increasing legalism and lawyering to gain a very very temporary team advantage, all at an ENORMOUS cost.
    I do not share your optimism for the future.

  2. I certainly agree that recalls should not be overused, and I wish our politicians could find a legal way of excluding special interest funding of them. But even still, they essentially force a revisit to the will of the people, and for that I support them when necessary.

    But as well, few recalls would be undertaken if our “trusted” politicians would implement public funding of campaigns, thereby making themselves more beholden to the people of the state and not to special interests that fund their elections.

    But here you can count on a sure veto by Walker, even if the republican legislature passed it. That, in my view, is why Walker must go. Campaign reform was demanded by 90% of the voters in a 2000 referendum, and we must achieve it soon. I do not want David Koch or Karl Rove controlling the Wisconsin legislature or governor.

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