2012 Wisconsin Gubernatorial Recall Election
Walker vs barrett
Turd Sandwich
Name 2012 Wisconsin Gubernatorial Recall Election
Type Gubernatorial
Voting Year(s) 2012
Inaugural Year 2012
Candidates Scott Walker (i-R), Tom Barrett (D)
Outcome Walker Survives
Mistake? Yes

The 2012 Wisconsin Gubernatorial Recall Election was a contest between incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee that took place within Walker's first term, on June 5th, 2012.[1]

Background Edit

Walker's Reforms Edit

Scott Walker, former Executive of Milwaukee County[2], first took office as Governor of Wisconsin on January 3, 2011.[3] His inauguration took place after defeating Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in the general election 52% to 47% in December.[4] Walker inherited a $137 million deficit, and he knew that it would take serious and bold reforms to save Wisconsin. He announced his budget repair bill, which included several changes involving Unions and Union members.[5] When Walker took office, members of Unions hardly contributed to their pensions[6]. Instead, the burden was put on every-day Wisconsinites. Walker's bill required members of the WRS and employes of the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee county to provide 50% of their pensions,[7], a fair amount given the state's budget gap. This is not unreasonable, as 50% is the national average that public sector workers pay, and they don't even receive pensions. Secondly, the bill also increases the amount of annual health insurance premiums from 6% to 12%, which is still only about half of what public sector workers pay.[8] In addition, Walker authorized the Department of Employee Trust Funds to take steps necessary to lower premiums by 5 percent.[9] In the same bill, Walker also reformed the pensions of elected officials and appointees, beginning in their next term.[10] The budget repair bill continues with limiting collective bargaining to rase the base pay rate for Union workers to no more than what the Consumer Price Index calls for.[11] Despite rumors, the bill does not include additional furlough days for state employees.[12] Other parts of the bill include increasing of Medicare GPR appropriation, prohibiting Limited Term Workers (LTE's) from qualifying for the same insurance as permanent workers, and allowing state employees to be transferred to a different agency.[13]

Union Reaction Edit

Afraid of providing as much of their pensions as public sector workers provide for them and paying more a quarter of what public sector workers pay for health insurance premiums, over 70,000 Union Members, Liberal activists, and Democratic politicians rioted in Madison, Wisconsin by the state Capitol building.[14]
Wi protest

Angry Liberals protest in Madison, WI

Interestingly, some protestors were actually organized and paid by the Democratic National Committee (DNC).[15] President Obama phrased this as "Organizing For America".[16] The protests were soon joined by members of the Liberal media, such as Ed Schultz, host of "The Ed Show" on MSNBC.[17] There, Ed Schultz told Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh to "wrap his fat ass in the flag."[18] Reasons for his outburst are unknown.

As the protests continued, the Democratic state Senators of Wisconsin made a cowardly decision. Instead of fighting for their constituents and standing up to the Republicans they felt were in the wrong, the state Senators on the left side of the isle fled to Illinois to prevent a vote on Walker's budget.[19] The act of unprecedented weakness failed its objective, and the Senate still passed the budget repair bill, even though they would have to face the wrath of the protestors.[20] When all was said and done, the damage done to Wisconsin's state capitol by the Liberal demonstrators cost 270 thousand dollars.[21]

Senate Recalls Edit

Still angry from the Republicans' efforts to fix the state's budget, Democrats led a charge to recall six Republican State Senators, but only managed to gain two seats, failing to claim the majority. The election night came down to a final race in which Republican Incumbent Alberta Darling won with 54 percent of the vote.[22] This confirmed that Wisconsinites approve of Walker and the Republicans' reforms. Still, the Democrats are pushing to recall four more State Senators on June 5 along with Governor Scott Walker himself. Three of the Republican Senators won decisively but the fourth, Van Wanggaard suffered defeat to a recall effort.[23]

Gubernatorial RecallEdit

Democratic Primary Edit

With two major players in the state's Democratic Primary, Milwaukee Mayor and loser of the 2010 general election against Scott Walker triumphed over former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, 54% to 38%.[24] The Democrats of Wisconsin for some reason decided to nominate the man who had already been defeated by Walker.

Walker's Touting and Attacks Edit

Walker's plan for the recall campaign was to raise enough funds[25] to constantly remind the people of his state of his accomplishments, including adding over 33,000 jobs[26], reducing the deficit without raising taxes,[27] and bringing unemployment to its lowest since 2008.[28]

He also made a point to remind people of Mayor Tom Barrett's record.[29] The Governor noted that as Mayor, Barrett raised property tax by over 10%.[30] He also pointed out that under Barrett, Milwaukee's unemployment has gone up 28%[31] and that the city currently faces the fourth worst poverty rate in the nation.[32]

Jobs Numbers Controversy Edit

After Scott Walker touted his creation of over 33,000 jobs, about 23,000 jobs in 2011 and 10,00 so far in 2012, the Democrats went on the attack, and Tom Barrett said that Walker simply made up the numbers and that Wisconsin actually lost almost 40,000 jobs. In reality, it was Barrett who was incorrect.[33] Mayor Barrett pointed to a survey of only 3.5% of Wisconsin employers while Walker used a report based on a survey of 96% of Wisconsin employers, a much more accurate sample.[34] Barrett may not have known that his report was inaccurate, but he was wrong to keep insisting his numbers were correct..

Outcome Edit

Even after a huge push from leading Democrats to rally their base, and predictions from major news networks that the race would be extremely close, Walker triumphed over Barrett 53% to 46%.[35] The voter turnout was unexpectedly high, and in some voting locations, the staff had to print more ballots.[36]

Debates Edit

Walker debates Barrett

Walker (right) debates Barrett (left)

In the first of the two debates, Barrett sounded like a broken record. The terms "civil war", "divided the country", "divide and conquer", and "tear people are part" were used about 15 times in the 55 minute period. What's interesting is that he makes the claim that Walker started a civil war, even though he simply followed through on the promises he made while campaigning. The other interesting part about this attack was when Barrett simultaneously said that Walker divided public and private sector workers while saying he divided coworkers, but if one worker is private sector, is his coworker not also private sector? Using the same logic, how could a public sector worker be coworkers with someone in the private sector? Barrett isn't a terrible debater, but he sometimes failed to form a coherent sentence and jumped from thought to thought, saying:

"You succeeded in dividing this state, but you said- you said it was the first step, because this is really about workers' rights, and it's not just about public employees, it's about the middle class and whether people who work in the middle class have rights- whether they have safety rights, because I've talked to people who are working in our prisons right now, and they said they've never been more afraid because their rights were taken away. I am concerned about those rights. I am concerned that those rights have been taken away, and I think it's an attack on the middle class."

So clearly, the Mayor means that dividing people was only the first step and since this is about workers but not only workers also the middle class because they need safety rights especially in prisons because prison workers lost their rights so it's an attack on the middle class, and that's how Walker divided Wisconsin.

Aside from Barrett's confusing answers, including one time when he was asked about gay marriage but talked about women's equal pay, the rest of the debate was a squabble over facts. Walker explained how he created jobs, Barrett denied it. Walker explained how he created a budget surplus, and again Barrett either denied the facts or reverted to talking about how Walker divided people.

One other attack that Barrett brought up often was Walker's donations and contributions from out of state. It is ironic that Mayor Barrett complained about this given that the whole recall walker movement started with people organized by the DNC, and now both President Clinton, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz are campaigning for Barrett, bringing tons of out-of-state money with them.

How You Can Help Edit

You can help ensure that Walker stays in office in the following ways:

  • Donate Here
  • Tweet with #StandWithScott
  • Give Barrett a grade Here
  • Call Wisconsin Voters Here

Do You Stand With Scott? Edit

Stand with scott
If you support Governor Walker, coppy {{WalkerSupport}} onto your profile. It looks like this:
Walker This user stands with Scott Walker in the fight against Unions.

References Edit

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