More on the utilities scheme and the Koch brothers*:http://prof77.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/the-scam-in-wisconsin/
It's really rather clever, in a way. First Walker tried to say it was all about the unions refusing to pay their fair share. Then the majority started to realize that the money wasn't at issue, it was collective bargaining. So on to the second layer, about the excessive power of the unions** and how they want a stranglehold on government.
Now maybe people will start noticing the energy utilities mess, and then I'm not sure what Walker, Koch, Koch, and Co. will use as a distraction... though the recall stuff is probably useful for that.
Both sides are clamoring for recalls, and bizarrely, it's a group in Utah (the American Recall Coalition, apparently created for the occasion
) that's thrown the first official punch. (Why they're choosing to mess with Wisconsin politics I don't know, but apparently it's allowable.) They've filed paperwork to recall eight of the 14 Democrats currently hiding to prevent the senate quorum, the other six not yet being eligible for recall. They have 60 days to get enough signatures to force a recall vote, about 16,000 per senator.
Interestingly, though the man arranging the recall petitions (Dan Baltes) insists he's acting only as a private individual and not because of party affiliations, he's also a known Republican activist and Executive Director of a group called Americans Against Immigration Amnesty (AAIA). His name also appeared in connection with an attempt to recall Arizona sheriff Clarence Dupnik after the shooting there this past January.
Note that a recall vote only arranges for another popular vote in the appropriate district to determine if the official in question should or should not be removed from office. (I'm learning things from all this research. Heh.) Recall elections, historically, succeed only under specific circumstances
In addition, recalls of state legislators are a relative rarity. I've documented only 20 recall elections involving state legislators in the country since the first state adopted the recall for state-level officials in 1908. Of those, 13 resulted in removal.
Most recalls are on the local level, and for a good reason -- there is less partisanship based around municipal offices than around the state legislature.
At the state level, voters are not likely to switch sides so easily.
[W]hen a recall effort seems to be nakedly political, as it appears to be in Wisconsin, voters tend to side with the candidate that they first elected.
In 2008, California Democrats tried to recall Republican state Sen. Jeff Denham in order to gain a veto-proof two-thirds majority in the Senate. This recall, which took place on a primary day, faced heavy criticism for being a pure political power play and failed.
So in spite of my jokes about ending up with an entirely new state senate, the odds are actually against that, regardless of whether or not either side's recall efforts actually lead to any recall votes.
**currently being discussed in more detail here
*currently being discussed in more detail here
As for Fox News, they've also had other troubles.http://mediamatters.org/research/201102220006
Protesters Shout "Fox Lies" During Live Report From WI Capitol. On the February 18 edition of Your World, protesters chanted "Fox lies" during correspondent Jeff Flock's live report on the labor protests from the Wisconsin Capitol building. During the segment, guest host Chris Cotter stated, "Well, I'll tell you, Jeff, those folks protesting Fox -- I'm wondering if they would prefer a state-run television network providing all the coverage." [Fox News, Your World, 2/18/11]
Protesters Interrupt Live Fox Interview With Chants Of "Tell The Truth." On the February 21 edition of Your World, labor protesters in Madison interrupted guest host Stuart Varney's live interview with Brett Healy of the conservative MacIver Institute. Varney later interviewed Healy via telephone while footage of a protester holding a sign saying, "Fox News will lie about this," aired.