While Democrats move into recall petition mode Tuesday, WUWM’s Erin Toner spoke with a few of Governor Walker’s supporters. They defend the Republican leader’s record and vow to fight the recall attempt against him.
A collection of Republicans gathered Monday at the Milwaukee Athletic Club to attend a fundraiser for GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain. Bob Geason was there, saying he likes Cain’s economic plan and ideas for creating jobs. The Burlington resident has similar praise for Gov. Scott Walker. Geason says Walker has done a “fantastic” job this year, including stripping public workers of most collective bargaining rights.
“His initiatives are obviously working. All you have to do is start looking at some of the websites and the money that’s being saved by the different municipalities and the school districts, it’s absolutely fabulous. All the ‘sky-is-falling’ rhetoric that was going on, obviously didn’t happen. We’re open for business and the jobs are coming in,” Geason says.
As part of his election campaign, Walker promised to add 250,000 new private-sector jobs by the year 2015. While Walker has touted progress toward that goal, the state’s unemployment rate in September remained unchanged from September 2010.
Still, John King of Brookfield applauds Walker’s focus on aiding business.
“When we help encourage the private sector I think the job outlook just looks better. When we have too much money going to the government or put too much into the public sector, whereas the private sector can’t keep up, we’re going to take a hit,” King says.
King says Gov. Walker was clear during the 2010 campaign about his intentions and has been doing what he promised.
Most Wisconsin voters selected Walker last November, so citizens should support him, even if they disagree with his policies, according to Matt Warner. We met him at a coffee shop in Shorewood.
“If the conservative movement in this country were to come out with some scenario in which they were going to try to impeach and remove President Obama, and I assure you I am no Obama fan, I would simply say this is ridiculous. He would have to do something really terrible to be removed from office,” Warner says.
Warner’s opinion that there should be restrictions on recalls could actually become the law in Wisconsin.
Republican Rep. Robin Vos has introduced a constitutional amendment to allow recalls only under certain circumstances – for example, if a lawmaker violates ethics rules or is convicted of a crime. Vos says politicians need the freedom to make tough and courageous decisions.
“So if we have a situation where elected officials every time they cast a hard vote have to think twice about it because there’s a potential for a recall to be launched next week, regardless of whether or not we’ve had a chance to see if their idea is successful or a failure, I think will mean that will be have even worse decisions made over the long run because they’ll be made for political reasons instead of the best interests of Wisconsin,” Vos says.
Vos says he hopes his constitutional amendment will come up for debate in spring. In order for such a change to become law, two consecutive Legislatures would have to approve it, and so would voters. So it would not affect recall efforts currently getting underway.
Republicans do not intend to sit idly by, however.
Don Taylor is chairman of the Republican Party of Waukesha County. He says more than 170 county GOP leaders met last weekend in Wausau – more than twice the usual number for the group’s fall meeting.
“We’re basically out there to defend the governor and to defend the Republican senators that are coming under attack. We do deplore the continuation of the political season, which we think is outside the bounds what is really proper and right,” Taylor says.
GOP leaders have launched a website where people can report suspected fraud in the petition process. And Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he might consider running fake Democrats in recall elections targeting GOP incumbents – if they need more time to campaign. Republicans used that tactic this summer, when six GOP state senators faced recall. Two lost their jobs.