Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is the Left’s number one target these days; the national unions have spent millions trying to reverse the reforms that Walker and Wisconsin’s Republican legislature implemented after the 2010 election. So far, they have failed: despite six Senate recall elections that cost the Left a fortune, the GOP retains control of the Senate. And the unions’ effort to unseat a Republican Supreme Court Justice failed as well.
The main event, of course, is the Left’s campaign to recall Walker himself. The unions are committing an unprecedented amount of money, and a great deal of their prestige, to the task. I was with Walker at a lunch event a few weeks ago, and he observed–correctly, I think–that the recall campaign has repercussions far beyond Wisconsin. If Walker, having carried out the promises on which he campaigned, can be evicted from office by the overwhelming force of left-wing money, reformers everywhere would be given pause. Likewise, if Wisconsin’s voters repudiate the Left’s vindictive campaign, it will give added impetus to reform efforts in other states.
So how is Walker doing? He has raised a fair amount of money to defend the recall, although he probably will be outspent two or three to one. (The cardinal rule of American politics is that if money can buy victory, the Democrats will win.) Walker has started running anti-recall ads like this one, which strikes me as very effective, as it reminds voters that 1) the policies Walker’s administration implemented are the ones he campaigned on, and 2) they have worked:
Ann Althouse, who lives in Madison, has followed these events closely and seems optimistic that Walker will prevail. She notes that the Democrats are waffling on how many signatures they now have on petitions to recall Walker and his lieutenant governor, and suggests several possible explanations, all of them more or less optimistic.
The [Democrats’] failure to win back control of the state Senate this summer after spending millions on those recall efforts may have tempered the expectations of success for the Walker recall, but a better indicator might come from an entirely different reform Walker and the state GOP enacted once in control of the state legislature. Their new “shall issue” law on gun permits has resulted in an overwhelming response from Wisconsin citizens:
Wisconsin residents have overwhelmed the state Justice Department with so many concealed weapon permit applications agency officials say they probably won’t meet deadlines for issuing approvals this month despite pulling dozens of employees from other tasks to help.
A state law that allows Wisconsin residents to carry concealed weapons went into effect Nov. 1. Under the law, state residents 21 or older who submit $50 to the Justice Department, pass an agency background check and prove they have received some firearms training can obtain a permit to carry. …
As of Dec. 28, DOJ had received 64,832 applications, issued 36,373 permits and denied 800….
I don’t suppose a lot of those Badgers who appreciate the right to defend themselves will be voting to recall Scott Walker.
If you haven’t already done so, or even if you have, I urge you to go here and donate what you can to the effort to “re-elect” Governor Walker. If you feel that you can’t give much, that’s OK–give a little. By doing so, you will be putting yourself on the right side of history.