On Thursday, Republican Senator Dale Schultz leveled a shocking allegation that Governor Walker had dry-gulched him into missing the vote on the budget bill that eliminated collective bargaining, where, Schultz claims, he had planned to offer a compromise amendment. Schultz, a moderate, avoided recall earlier this year, even though he faced an outraged constituency.
That came just a week or so after a Green Bay business leader came forward with a tale of other Walker shenanigans. The businessman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that recalled Republican Senator Robert Cowles had confided that the only reason he voted for the bill was because "the governor's office told us if we didn't give them our support, they would run a tea party candidate against us." Cowles immediately shot back against the claims, but the two senators' allegations together suggest the GOP hardline may be cracking. Indeed, none of the Republican senators facing recall have featured Walker in their campaign ads. A comedic demonstration of this distancing come froms GOP Senator Randy Hopper, whose recall campaign website features the legislator standing beside former Republican governor Tommy Thompson instead of Walker.
And naturally, the races have evolved past the original recall anger to include national issues. Part of the GOP strategy, no doubt, since the goddamned state legislature has no say in things like health insurance, the deficit, or Afghanistan. And yes, the challenger Democrats have all been led down that path like sheeple.
One can only hope they're a bright, articulate bunch who can mirror the gambit and reflect it back to local issues. Like why in the hell the idiots voted with Walker in the first place!
Now, here's where it gets interesting: six of nine races are being finalized today, with Democrats likely to capture six Republican seats. It's conceivable that, after the dust settles on these six, that control of the state Senate will be a toss-up, leaving two elections that might decide which party controls the Senate (and repeals Walker's egregious fuck up). The one real contest left is one where the Democrat is being recalled by Teabaggers.
This would be state Senator Jim Holperin's second recall election. Last time, he spent a grand total of $40,000. He has already spent ten times that, and should the race be the key to Democratic control of the state Senate, Katie, bar the door, because PAC money will flow into Wisconsin like milk for cheese.