Millions Of Union Dollars Fail To Buy Wisconsin Senate

From New York Times-
Two Republican state senators lost their seats in recall elections around Wisconsin on Tuesday, but Republicans maintained their control of the State Senate, ultimately handing a defeat to union groups and Democrats who had spent months and millions of dollars trying to wrestle away at least some of the state’s political power.

The outcome was seen as a victory for Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican whose move to curtail collective bargaining rights for public workers this year set off a firestorm of protests, then counterprotests and finally a summer of unprecedented recall efforts.

Although two of the Republicans — Senators Dan Kapanke of La Crosse and Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac — were removed by Democratic challengers on Tuesday before the ends of their terms in office, Republicans still hold a majority — now 17 to 16 — over Democrats in the Senate. Until Tuesday, Republicans had dominated with a 19 to 14 majority, but with six recall elections in a single day, the damage for Republicans could have been far worse, and Democrats and some national labor groups had hoped it would be.

Two Senate Democrats also face recall elections next week — one more chapter in the same collective bargaining rights battle — but given the results on Tuesday, those races now cannot affect which party controls the State Senate, the question that had always been the ultimate concern on both sides. If anything, Republicans could now increase their hold next week.

That appeared to assure Mr. Walker and leading Republican lawmakers that they can continue to pursue their agenda — which has included budget cuts, a concealed weapons provision and a requirement of identification to vote — with relative ease.

In the election on Tuesday, four Republicans held onto their jobs, including Senators Robert Cowles of Green Bay, Luther Olsen of Ripon and Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls. The counting of votes in a challenge to Senator Alberta Darling, who is the powerful Republican co-chair of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee and someone the Democratic Party’s state chairman last week described as the “crown jewel of our recall efforts,” dragged into the early hours of Wednesday; ultimately, Ms. Darling was deemed the winner, preliminary results from The Associated Press showed.

In a way, these recall elections — more than have ever been pursued against Wisconsin lawmakers in the state’s history — grew out of a different election. Last November, in a pattern that played out in several states, Republicans swept into power in Wisconsin, taking over control of the governor’s seat, the State Assembly and the State Senate and pledging to make major changes.

Reasons being given last night for the Union/Dems failure to take back control-the districts were Republican strongholds, the districts were gerrymandered to be Republican, Koch brothers bought the election etc etc. Before the vote Ed Schultz was practically giddy about the prospect of the Dems taking over, afterwards not so much. Unions poured millions of dollars and volunteers into this race only to end up with egg on thier collective bargaining faces.

No votes yet

Ah - that would explain why they get so pissy...

Wisconsin Recall Elections: The Dark Money Pours In
http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/08/wisconsin-recall-americans-prosp...
Quote from article:
"The conservative playing field is more scattered. Instead of one powerhouse coalition, numerous conservative outfits have trained their sights on a few individual recall races, rather than blanketing the state. The Republican State Leadership Committee, a group devoted to electing GOPers at the state level, has zeroed in on the Green Bay TV market, McCabe says, hoping to boost GOP Sen. Rob Cowles' chances against former Brown County Executive Nancy Nusbaum. Two groups with ties to the Koch brothers, Americans for Prosperity and Citizens for a Stronger America, have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into TV ads, direct mail, and more. The Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative advocacy group, has also been active in Wisconsin's TV markets, McCabe says. While the spending is more or less even, here's the big difference between the two sides: The left-leaning groups usually disclose their donors, while the right-leaning groups mostly don't. For McCabe, the geyser of dark money is the big story of the recalls. He says two-thirds of the recall spending derives from undisclosed sources, and he blames the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision for allowing so much anonymous spending."

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

Really, that's all you got? The Dems got more and spent more out of state money.

The only difference is the GOP got more bang for their buck.

MikeyA

Mother Jones? Really? What I wouldn't give to read a truly independent, unbiased account of anything politically related these days.

Look Wolf, we all know what happened here. Big Labor saw someone attempting to reign in their power and spent massive amounts of money to overturn the results of a State election. This wasn't about sticking up for ordinary, average American workers, this was about saving their political power.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

LOL and his retort is Thom Hartman an Air America personality.

Wolfman doesn't get what most would call a full spectrum of views now does he. He should stand as a warning to everyone what happens when you only listen to one side of a debate regardless of where you fall in the political spectrum.

MikeyA

Hellooow is anyone home? MikeyA did you suffer from some sort of head trauma? Do you not remember anything that I've ever posted here over the past year about where I glean my resources? Do I seem uninformed about the fools controlling our country? Mikey "full spectrum of views" better look in the mirror bud for the one who is lacking. Hell Fred has to come on SwampBubbles to get ideas for his next morning show on Speedy. I should be getting royalties from ClearChannel for my intellectual property. ;-)

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

Oh my God Paul Wohlfarth! Intellectual? Haaahhahhahaahhaha and how would you know what I use on the show since you've admitted you don't listen?

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

Fred Lefebvre did the "activists" show up on Winston Blvd.? Just wondering.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

No they did not, but that could just be another example of a failed union initiative.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

wolfman, actually no I don't remember what you said you read. Reason is most of what you post is Daily Show videos or Mother Jones articles so essentially it's unserious crap.

"Mikey "full spectrum of views" better look in the mirror bud for the one who is lacking." Did you see where I accused Pink of repeating that which was posted on Daily Kos? How would I know what the left is putting out? Because I read them. In fact the majority of the information I get I get from www.realclearpolitics.com which is a very fair website posting articles on both sides of the issues.

However I don't get my beliefs from anything but my own principles. That's why I don't listen to Fred, or Glenn Beck, or anyone else you've trashed. Most of the time my radio is dialed in to Classic Rock or Opie and Anthony and my television is usually on Sprout (because of my child) or History Channel. I don't need commentators to influence my views, they come from my values and principles.

"Hell Fred has to come on SwampBubbles to get ideas for his next morning show on Speedy. I should be getting royalties from ClearChannel for my intellectual property." Ok please cite where. Most of what you post is not your own opinion. You post aricles and summarize them.

Me, I rarely do initial posts. When I do I always add my own opinion about it. That is why we joke about your "cut and paste" skills. You don't give intellectual property that is yours you post the intellectual property of others be it a Thom Hartman video or letters to the editor from Mlive.com.

MikeyA

TOM!!!! I know the answer to how it went from ground swell to ground swill. People saw the results of Gov. Walker's programs. Need examples? The Kaukauna school district went from a $400,000 deficit to a $1.5 million surplus, Wisconsin has created almost 40,000 jobs in the first six months of this year, 14,000 new jobs in manufacturing. See Tom if people are told the truth they will vote without influence of the millions spent by unions both inside and outside the Badger State.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

TOM!!!! I know the answer to how it went from ground swell to ground swill. People saw the results of Gov. Walker's programs. Need examples? The Kaukauna school district went from a $400,000 deficit to a $1.5 million surplus, Wisconsin has created almost 40,000 jobs in the first six months of this year, 14,000 new jobs in manufacturing. See Tom if people are told the truth they will vote without influence of the millions spent by unions both inside and outside the Badger State.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

What's funny is yeah they won two races. But guess what they now have to defend two seats and do that without the hope of any gains. Good luck keeping that high turnout.

The GOP will most likely win at least 1 seat back. Two is now a possibility being that the union hopes are now deflated.

30 million was spent on this travesty and their is a very good chance they will end up exactly where they were when they started. That is a lot of union dues thrown out for nothing. The people of WI have shown that they can and will reject Organized Crime.

There's a guy I know in WI who reported that because of the collective bargaining law union due extortions are off 40%.

I hope they do attempt to recall Gov. Walker. They proved last night they could only win in highly Democrat areas and by not impressive margins, whereas highly Republican areas had high turnout and the GOP was successful. That doesn't bode well for recalling the Gov.

If they recall the Gov. they will waste another 30 million that could have went to the 2012 election.

Side note: One of the districts that they lost had been won by President Obama by 60%. That doesn't give a good look into 2012 for a state he carried by 14 pts.

MikeyA

So what Fraud is saying, is that millions in corporate money successfully bought Wisconsin Senate. What a great day for democracy! (sarcasm)

Pink Slip

Actually, the people of Wisconsin won. Big money special interests lost. Big labor spent 20+ million dollars to overthrow the results of the 2009 STATE elections not because they were standing up for average Americans. They spent that money to protect their political power.

By the way, Governor Walker's policies seem to be creating jobs in Wisconsin.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

"Big money special interests lost."

Let me guess--in your world, the only special interest is labor? You don't consider corporate entities "special interests"?

Pink Slip

Pink, I'm with you when it comes to corporations. But this wasn't about big corporations.

I'm saying in this instance, Big Labor, a major Democratic special interest group, spent a disproportionate amount of money on a state election in an attempt to intimidate and dissuade other states from even dreaming of doing the same thing Wisconsin did.

And it failed. And that's a good thing. Whether it's big labor or big business, the fact that they have so much money gives them an entree to our politicians that us little people simply don't have. The fact that the big unions attempted to overturn the 2009 Wisconsin state election NOT because of any criminal wrongdoing or abject incompetence BUT because they felt their political power that they feel entitled to was being threatened.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

AH--Why doesn't it seem to matter to you that special interests on the right spend just as much money to help elect Republicans in the first place? You turn a blind eye to one special interest group, while chastising another.

Pink Slip

"They proved last night they could only win in highly Democrat areas "

Actually, these six Republican state senators were elected in 2008 which happened to be a great year for Democrats. So, it's a mistake to call these "highly Democratic areas". Besides, if the Dems can switch 33% of red districts to blue in 2012 like they did last night--I'm sure they'll be VERY happy.

Pink Slip

The problem with that analogy is that as much money as Big Labor and other left wing special interest groups have, they can't pour $20 million dollars into every six House races all over the country.

Besides, this isn't over yet. Next Tuesday, two Democrats are up for recall for abandoning the people of Wisconsin and hiding in Illinois during the Union bill fight. If the Republicans can pick up both seats, then the money Big Labor spent on trying to overturn the 2009 state elections will effectively been pissed away.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

that the two Dems who did win are going to be sworn in at the Best Western Clock Tower Resort in Rockford, Illinois.

Ok...so that probably won't happen, but maybe they can help introduce the unions to the "shared sacrifice" of co-pays and 401(k)s.

Somebody read the Daily Kos today and like a good little soldier spewed out the same crap.

Do you really think the National Unions will spend as much as they did in WI when the rest of the nation is on the line?

I'd be willing to bet on Florida or Ohio, maybe. But WI? Very very doubtful.

Pink, the Dems chose the 6 most vulnerable Repubs to recall. Of that they only got one who was plagued with scandal and one who barely won in a district that went to the President at 60%. Good luck with next week race one of which went to Walker by 57% and Prosser by 55%.

MikeyA

Did anyone hear Mushmouth Wilson give Walter Williams a blow job over the air on his show yesterday?

Apparently you did.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

MikeyA--"But guess what they now have to defend two seats and do that without the hope of any gains. Good luck keeping that high turnout. The GOP will most likely win at least 1 seat back. Two is now a possibility being that the union hopes are now deflated."

MikeyA-"Good luck with next week race one of which went to Walker by 57% and Prosser by 55%."

Of course, the Democrats kept both seats and ended up gaining 2 overall. Not bad.

Pink Slip

and no matter how you spin it, the Demunions still lost. Their goal was retake control of the Senate and they failed.

If it makes you feel better, I'm sure we could drum up a participation trophy.

Congratulations on the win. Special elections can go either way and I did note that.

It only cost you 10 million per seat. Good luck in 2012. If every seat costs you that I look forward to a GOP landslide.

Additionally the Dems will be totally unable to stop Walker's plans. In fact did you see the poll on his recall released yesterday? 50 Opposed to recall 47 for. I guarantee you that will cost more than 20 million to do. I guess the benefit for you is that a labor union is considered a person and is now able to raise and spend funds like that. :)

MikeyA

I never had much hope in recalling Walker. But the GOP is that much closer to losing the state Senate in 2012.

Pink Slip

yeh but but they had a lot of people protest, and and they are angry at walker, and and the koch brothers bought that election, and and they won two out of six seats and that's a democratic victory for the progressives.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

But that's a little harsh considering they were able to get six recalls on the ballot without being hamstrung by secretarial issues.

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

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