Fri June 8, 2012
Wisconsin recall effect felt across Lake Michigan
The failed recall attempt against Governor Scott Walker is already having a dampening effect on similar efforts across the country.
The group Michigan Rising decided to end its campaign this week to recall that state’s governor. The group accused Rick Snyder of putting the needs of corporations ahead of the people. Michigan Rising was already having trouble collecting enough signatures. Organizers were hoping a Tom Barrett win would help energize their effort. Spokesman Bruce Fealke says it would have helped them raise more money, "A good deal of money would have helped because then we would have been able to put a full field organization with professional organizers rather than using strictly volunteers."
Fealke says Snyder's low key manner also complicated the recall effort. He says Michigan's Governor comes across as less of an ideologue than Walker.
Experts say the failed recall will also have a chilling effect on future efforts here in Wisconsin. Mordecai Lee is a Professor of Governmental Affairs at UW-Milwaukee. He says the political lesson is that recalling a governor is hard to do and if organizers fail, they risk strengthening the person they are trying to remove, "I suspect the idea of a statewide recall of a governor is going to be almost taboo, something you don’t mention in polite society for the next generation in Wisconsin politics."
It’s unclear what recall organizers in Wisconsin plan to do next. Fealke says Michigan Rising will now focus on establishing a liberal think tank.