Is the Democrats’ Attempt To Recall Scott Walker A Mistake?

The national labor unions have accumulated more than 500,000 signatures on their petition to recall Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, so they are getting close. There is no process, apparently, for validating the signatures, so it is impossible to say how many are fraudulent. But it seems probable that one way or another, a recall election will take place in May. Will that election be a triumph for the Democrats?

Ann Althouse thinks not:

Let’s assume the signature-gatherers hit the mark and trigger a recall. Walker can only be removed if the Democrats come up with an opponent who beats him in the recall election. What are they going to use for money?

But the Democratic Party reported raising just under $1.2 million between July 1 and Dec. 10 to support its own role in the recall attempt. It has $360,000 in cash on hand.

But money is never the Democrats’ problem. As long as the national unions can extort money from their members against their will, there will be no shortage of cash on the left. I assume the pro-recall forces will outspend the pro-Walker forces by at least two or three to one.

Meanwhile, Walker is still raking money in, and under state law there is no limit on donations, and some people are handing him checks in excess of $200,000.

That is correct. There is currently a window in which you can contribute whatever you want to Walker’s campaign. As I wrote here, you should. You can donate to Walker’s re-election campaign here. Don’t worry if you can only spare a few dollars. Every little bit helps.

This money will flood into an immense advertising campaign next year. Next year, when all the presidential candidates are trying to get attention and when there’s a Senate race here in Wisconsin. Walker will continue to collect donations and spend it freely to promote the conservative agenda in Wisconsin, lending collateral assistance to the Republican candidates in the other 2012 elections. (And candidates in the regular elections have limits on the amounts donors can give them.)

Wisconsin is a key swing state in the presidential election. And Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Herb Kohl could be the one that tips the Senate Republican. The Walker recall could spell nationwide disaster for Democrats.

I certainly hope so, but that is an awfully optimistic assessment. Much more money will be spent to unseat Governor Walker than to re-elect him. On the other hand, the Democrats don’t have a candidate, and it is very weird to recall a governor for doing exactly what he promised to do when he ran for office.

I do think Ann is right that Wisconsin will be the eye of the hurricane in 2012 (or one of them, anyway). I would love to see Walker raise so much money that he can contribute to other Republican campaigns, but that strikes me as highly unlikely. Still, Ann may be right that the Walker recall is a strategic blunder by the Democrats. They chose to turn Wisconsin into Armageddon, betting that they had a better chance of recalling Walker in 2012 than defeating him in 2014, when the success of his policies would be apparent to nearly everyone. If they lose–as I think they will–the lesson will be that honest politicians can stand up to the union bullies, and win.

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